On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was en route to a monthly pastors’ prayer gathering at the World Prayer Center in Colorado Springs when terrorists struck the first of the Twin Towers in New York City. Those events of 9/11 plunged our country into unimaginable pain and disbelief, and immediately took their place alongside other unforgettable historical tragedies such as the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the assassination of JFK, and others.
Tragically, many other acts of terror and trauma have occurred in our world since 9/11, resulting in the ongoing escalations of fear, hatred, racism, and more. What in the world is going on? And what in the world can we do?
1 Chronicles 12:32 identifies a subset of King David’s mighty men, men from the tribe of Issachar, who “understood the signs of the times and knew what Israel should do.” How can we be those kinds of people? How should we process the signs of our times, and what are the courses of action that we should be taking?
Is our country falling apart? Is there only gloom on our horizon from here on out? Should we hunker down under fear, assuming that our glory days are over before they ever really began? What should we be doing as a general cloak of fear, anger, and despair settles more fully over our nation’s soul?
Perhaps we should cling to and manifest some things that are promised to remain. The Apostle Paul told us that when everything else is passing away there are three things that will endure: faith, hope, and love (1 Corinthians 13:13).
The Christian worldview gives us faith that the God of history is still deeply at work in the universe. It gives us confidence that there is hope for today as well as tomorrow. And ultimately, it gives us a mission: to love our God, our loved ones, our neighbors, and our world.
What might change in our world if every Christian modeled a courageous, prayer-filled faith, a generous and compassionate hope, and a reconciling, hate-abolishing love?