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September 11, 2001 now becomes a date that will be remembered as a devastating calamity to all Americans. The co-coordinated terrorist attack was a stab in the heart of the United States, leaving people with a profound sense of loss and helplessness. A myriad of questions surrounding this catastrophe surely abound, yet there is one query which must be considered by those who call themselves the people of God: how should I respond in the face of a national tragedy?
The prophet Jeremiah endured an overwhelming disaster during his ministry to the nation of Israel. His homeland had been overrun by enemy troops, and his compatriots had experienced wholesale devastation and slaughter. In the wake of Israel's demise Jeremiah penned the book of Lamentations, and in this inspired manuscript he offers a description of how the people of God should respond to a national tragedy.
"The hearts of the people cry out to the Lord. O wall of the Daughter of Zion, let your tears flow like a river day and night; give yourself no relief, your eyes no rest. Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint from hunger at the head of every street." (Lamentations 2:18-19)
From the depths of our hearts we must call out to God on behalf of the victims. Cry out to the Ancient of Days individually and collectively for mercy and justice to be dispensed.
" My eyes fail from weeping, I am in torment within, my heart is poured out on the ground because my people are destroyed, because children and infants faint in the streets of the city." (Lamentations 2:11)
We are a nation in pain trying to make sense of a senseless tragedy. As Christians we must reach out to the direct and indirect victims of this calamity and "mourn with those who mourn" (Romans 12:15). We have the opportunity to connect with people on a personal level and present the only true message of peace in the universe: the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ.
"Let us examine our ways and test them, and let us return to the Lord." (Lamentations 3:40)
This day should serve as a reminder that though sin abounds, grace abounds even more. Let us look to our own spiritual condition to see if we have compromised with the ways of Satan and brought grief to the Savior. If so, the Father waits with open arms to receive us back into perfect fellowship with Him.
"Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:21-23)
Days like these bring a flood of emotions. Anger, confusion, vulnerability, and sorrow inundate our state of mind like a torrential flood. Yet in the tempest we can hold securely to the Rock of Ages; he is the only One who can truly rebuild from the ashes of destruction.
Dare 2 Share is a church assisting ministry that provides resources for youth leaders and equips teens to relationally and relentlessly reach their generation for Christ. Over 1,400 of these resources are provided completely FREE! D2S also conducts nationwide youth evangelism training conferences. The events are structured for students in junior high and high school, ranging from 12 to 18 years old. Regardless of gender or denomination, D2S teaches from a Christian perspective. D2S is based in Denver, Colorado and has impacted the lives of more than 300,000 teens since 1991.
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