Thirteen years ago, we were a shocked nation. We can all remember where we were on that Tuesday morning in 2001. As a country, we realized that things would never be the same again. The images on the television from New York, Washington D.C., and Pennsylvania haunted us. We needed comfort and hope. A few days later, on Friday, September 14, Billy Graham brought hope and healing to Americans from the pulpit of the National Cathedral in Washington. His words are still powerful today. We must never forget.
Here are a few excerpts from Mr. Graham’s speech:
But today we come together in this service to confess our need of God. We’ve always needed God from the very beginning of this nation. But today we need Him especially. We’re involved in a new kind of warfare. And we need the help of the Spirit of God.
What are some of the lessons we can learn?
First, we are reminded of the mystery and reality of evil. I have been asked hundreds of times why God allows tragedy and suffering. I have to confess that I do not know the answer. I have to accept, by faith, that God is sovereign, and that He is a God of love and mercy and compassion in the midst of suffering.
The lesson of this event is not only about the mystery of iniquity and evil, but, second, it’s a lesson about our need for each other.
A tragedy like this could have torn our country apart; but instead, it has united us. So those perpetrators who took this on to tear us apart, it has worked the other way—it has backlashed. We are more united than ever before.
We desperately need a spiritual renewal in this country, and God has told us in His Word time after time that we need to repent of our sins and return to Him, and He will bless us in a new way.
This event reminds us of the brevity and the uncertainty of life. We never know when we too will be called into eternity.
Yes, our nation has been attacked, buildings destroyed, lives lost. But now we have a choice: whether to implode and disintegrate emotionally and spiritually as a people and a nation; or to choose to become stronger through all of this struggle, to rebuild on a solid foundation. And I believe that we are starting to rebuild on that foundation. That foundation is our trust in God.
My prayer today is that we will feel the loving arms of God wrapped around us and that as we trust in Him we will know in our hearts that He will never forsake us.
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Image credit: Billy Graham video
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