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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Providence 365, Week 37: Beauty for Ashes

This is Barbara, here with Week 37 of Providence 365.

Ten years ago today, I was sitting at home, reading the morning paper.  I was scheduled to work the red-eye to Dulles that night, so I wasn't in any hurry to start my day.  My husband came in from the gym, asking if there was any big news in the paper, as all eyes were on the TVs at 24Hour Fitness.  We turned on the television and began to witness the horror unfold that was 9/11.

It's hard to believe that was ten years ago.  So much has happened; so much has changed, and it all feels rather normal now.  While not directly affected by those events (I didn't lose a loved one, for example.), that day nevertheless has had a huge impact on my life.  My working life as a relatively new flight attendant at one of the airlines targeted would never be the same.  And, the repercussions continue today.

For those who lost a friend, a parent, a child, or a spouse, these ten years probably haven't dulled the ache or the anger all that much.  And, every birthday or anniversary is just another reminder of the evil that exists in our world.

What do we, as Christians, take from this?  The events of that September morning weren't the first time that evil seemingly triumphed.  History is littered with incidences of evil, from the early Assyrians to politically-caused famines and starvation today. It's easy to become discouraged, depressed, and defeated in light of the larger evils of the world as well as the ones closer to home, the personal, the evil within and around us.

An article in Christianity Today about 9/11 reminded me that our battle here on Earth is not with flesh and blood, but with powers in the spiritual realm.  And, that Christ has conquered them all at His Ground Zero, the Cross:
In the word of the Cross, God tells us he knows all our traumas, our insurgencies, our secrets—and that he has already executed them at Golgotha. We need not fear hell, then, not because there isn't one, but because—if we are found in Christ—we have already been through all of that. We are free. And whenever our consciences accuse, the gospel takes us away from denial or preoccupation and right back to Ground Zero—to the Cross.

That bloody day, when it seemed that Jesus' enemies had indeed silenced Him and triumphed, was the very day of our salvation and redemption.  From despair came hope.  From evil came holiness.  Scripture is resolute; evil will not triumph, there will be a judgement, and God will wipe away every tear, heal every wound, and comfort every broken heart:
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified.
Again from Christianity Today:
Let's remember that the gospel brings peace and reconciliation to every Ground Zero in the cosmos. On the day when graves are opened, even those accidental tombs beneath the rubble of terror, we will see just how good this news is, even better than our shiny churches and happy choruses can convey.

I pray that God will allow you to see His Providence this week in even the heartbreak and sorrow of life.  May you see the peace of the Gospel and may it sink deep into your soul.

You can download the word art HERE.

1 comment:

CBH said...

Thank you so much for this post. I want to let you know that I posted a link to your blog in CBH Digital Scrapbooking Freebies, under the Page 5 post on Sep. 12, 2011. Thanks again.