If I trust that God brings good out of ALL things, what good came out of 9/11? The question haunted me all week as books, newspapers and the internet flooded me with remembrances of that tragic day. Here’s some of the answers that popped up when I googled it…
- “We put aside personal agendas and came together, but it didn’t last.”
- “People united, went to church, and prayed for the nation.”
- “We were reminded that we’re not untouchable or immune to horrific events.”
- “No one here in D.C. remembers or really cares. Everyone is too busy with their lives.”
- “Cops don’t ridicule firefighters as much as they did.”
- “The government uses fear tactics to make us submit to whatever the government
You get the idea. Many don’t see much good. Even a poll reported only 30% of its
responders thought 9/11 changed the country for the better (AARP.org/bulletin,
September 2011.) Why? Is it human nature pushing the tragic into a hidden corner of our mind? Do we cover the memory with busyness? Are we numbing the pain with personal
pleasure-seeking? I admit, for me, remembering hurts. It brings me face-to-face with my vulnerability. My lack of absolute control over life.
Still, I wondered, Did any good come out of 9/11? Can I trust God’s promise? Finally, I stumbled over an answer in Billy Graham’s remarks given at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., on Friday, September 14, 2001. He said, “First, we are reminded of the mystery and reality of evil…second, it’s a lesson about our need for each other…Finally, difficult as it may be for us to see right now, this event can give a message of hope—hope for the present and hope for the future.”* But, only if we stand together and remember. Only if we don’t lose sight of these lessons in the rush of daily life.
The good? 9/11 drew us closer together as a people of God and a nation. It drew us closer to Him and reliance on His promise to never forsake us. Yet the good comes only if we hold onto — and don’t forget — these lessons every moment of every day.
What good do you see coming out of 9/11? (I purposefully used the progressive tense because I agree with my pastor this morning…our healing is still inching along.)
“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who
love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28, NLT)
*For the full text of Dr. Graham’s message, go to http://www.billygraham.org.