Even the God of 9-11, Part 1

          We live in a time that throws us off balance. This is the 10th anniversary of theWorldTradeCenter terrorist attack that the world has come to refer to simply as “9-11”. Hundreds of people went to work that day in the towers like they would do any other day, and hundreds of people never returned home. The lives of those people’s family members and friends changed in an instant. Everyone in theUnited States was thrown off balance. Realizing that madmen could conceive of using passenger airplanes as missiles, forever altered the way we approach air travel. We must almost strip down before entering terminals to catch our flights.  Off balance.  As much as we try not to, many of us view people of Middle Eastern descent with a critical eye because of the actions of the radical terrorists who continue to frighten us. Off balance.

           What about the Oklahoma City bombing of the Murray Federal Building, the BTK killer, road rage that results in drive-by shootings, gang violence, and the devastation of Hurricane Katrina?  And we haven’t even begun to discuss the personal issues that stagger us like wayward children, job down-sizing, identity theft, a cheating spouse, a parent with the onset of Alzheimer’s, or an unexpected spot on the x-ray. Truly, lots of what life can deal us has the ability to throw us off balance.

           Since it’s a reality that troubles will touch your life, rock your world, and seek to topple your balance, what difference does it make to be a Christian? Is it possible for Christian people to maintain their equilibrium and stability in this unstable world? And if it is possible, is that possibility only for the hyper-spiritual saint? How can regular-old you find stable footing in unstable times?

           Nine-eleven has become the buzzword for fear, but God has some 9-11 buzzwords of faith that can answer that question. I trust that after today, you will respond differently whenever you think of the numbers “9-11”, and your new response will enable you to gain your balance when life’s issues are seeking to knock you down.

          Ecclesiastes 9:11-12 says, “I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all. Moreover, no man knows when his hour will come: As fish are caught in a cruel net, or birds are taken in a snare, so men are trapped by evil times that fall unexpectedly upon them” (NIV). Time and chance happen to everyone and evil exists. Everyone is affected by hard times and calamity from time to time. But as people of God, we don’t let tough times surprise us.

           We probably never imagined some of the negative things than have happened to us in our lives, but we lived through them emerging on the other side stronger and closer to God. Matthew5:45tells us, “That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust” (KJV). The difference between Christians and non-Christians is the fact that we can still have hope despite the circumstances.

            So let’s be wise not surprised when hard times come. Do the smart things to hedge against that proverbial “rainy day.” Keep your car in good repair, buy insurance (car, house, life, and medical), learn a marketable skill, get that degree, save and invest, get or stay out of debt, and prepare your will or living trust. Remember, “time and chance happen to them all; moreover, no man knows when his hour will come.” But it’s okay. In tough times or in calm times, we’ve got God.

________________________

©2011 Sharon Norris Elliott. Feel free to forward this devotion in its entirety, including this copyright line. Leave comments, ask questions, read past devotions, or subscribe to receive these devotions daily in your e-mail at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com. Also, periodically check in at www.LifeThatMatters.net to see what’s going on in the ministry.

 And pick up a copy of Sharon’s new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, available at Christian bookstores, online, from New Hope Publishers, and from the Life That Matters Ministries’ website.

~ by sanewriter on September 11, 2011.

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