There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).
Tomorrow is 9/11—an infamous day that the vast majority of us will never forget. Much like those who were alive on Sunday, December 7, 1941, when Pearl Harbor was bombed, we remember where we were that morning in September when we heard the news that our beloved country was under attack. As the hours passed, we soon learned the extent of human loss, and we grieved, as we still do at the memory of that horrific occurrence.
Eight years later, we still grieve, though the pain has diminished with time, as it does in the aftermath of most tragedies. But the lessons of that day remain. Though God has promised to keep us in “perfect peace” if we will focus our hearts and minds on Him and His faithfulness, He has not promised that we will not experience difficult times. We live in a broken world, full of broken promises and broken hearts. We also live in a world that is, to a large extent, driven by fear—whether it be fear of the known, or the unknown.
Despite the fact that we have picked up the pieces and moved on with our lives since that horrifying day in September 2001, we cannot deny that we will never be quite the same as we were before those planes full of innocent people were flown into buildings, bringing death and destruction on a monumental level. And that’s as it should be. We need to learn from such watershed events and never return to the complacency that helped allow them to happen in the first place. But even as we take a permanent stance of vigilance against future attacks, we must take a stance of vigilance against allowing fear of the future to paralyze us from walking in the freedom and joy that is inherent in walking with our Resurrected Savior.
Jesus Christ defeated death. He didn’t go around it or over it, or avoid it in any way. He met it head-on—and came through triumphant on the other side, leaving an empty tomb as testimony of His great victory. That is Perfect Love, folks—a perfect love that overcomes death and promises to one day carry us through that inevitable experience as well.
As we rightfully remember and honor those who died on 9/11, may we also keep our hearts and minds focused on the One who is greater than any tragedy that comes our way. For as Romans 8:31 declares, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
May you all walk in the joy and freedom of the Perfect Love that casts out all fear!