Thursday, September 11, 2014

Psalm 41 on 9/11

Psalm 41 begins with an interesting note regarding those who are facing harm — whether they are in the World Trade Center, Benghazi, Iraq, or just in a classroom like Columbine.

Psalm 41

Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;
    the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.
The Lord protects and preserves them —
    they are counted among the blessed in the land —
    he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.

What does the above Scripture imply? Obviously, it does not mean we are always physically protected, though I know of many times we have been. It does not always mean evil people are forbidden to hurt the innocent, as we are especially aware of on 9/11. It does mean that God has a special place of blessing and protection for those who face persecution. "What?!!!", you may say. Well, I am not nuts, but I have learned that protection and blessing can come even during great pain and hurt — even death.

I have faced death on quite a number of occasions. Each time I have experienced a special touch or awareness of God's love. On several occasions, I figured I would not be alive long, but in each case I also felt a deep peace — almost joy! How could that be? Well, I am not sure I can explain it except to say I believe these verses because I have experienced them in "real time" and "real life."

Paul wrote in Romans 8:38-49: 

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I believe in a place called "Calvary." I believe in "eternity." I believe that with Christ hope always exists! I also believe that God is always on the side of good — even when we can't see it. No matter how dark a day, God's love is still present. Corrie Ten Boom, a famous Nazi concentration camp survivor, described the lesson she learned while being tortured and starved  in Germany as "No matter how deep the pit, God's love is deeper."

Today as we mourn the great loss in this world of the victims of 9/11 and Benghazi, as we consider people being killed in Iraq and Syria by ISIS as I write this, as we read of Saudi Arabia arresting all known Christians within its borders yesterday, as we look at North Korea with one concentration camp having over 100,000 residents — including children, as we consider school and theater shootings and bombs going off at the Boston Marathon and more, let us simply pray two prayers.

1. Pray for those facing great crisis in their lives today — survivors, friends and loved ones of the events described above, and our own fears and crisis. 
2. Pray that we will learn to accept the absolute power and hope of Christ as described in Psalm 41 and Romans 8:38-39.  

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