"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; against such things there is no law." Galatians 5:22-23
We are on to peace now. How interesting the timing is, isn't it? Here we are on the eve of 9/11, the 10th anniversary of the most horrific day in my lifetime anyway. I am sure some reading this have other memories that seemed to stop time as well, such as the day John F. Kennedy was killed, or perhaps Martin Luther King Jr., maybe it's even D-Day. Whatever that day is, you can almost smell the exact smell of that morning. I can remember like it was yesterday, I was in a meeting at work. When the first plane hit the first tower, we were informed and needless to say spooked. When he second plane hit, we immediately ended our meeting and closed our office for the day.
I remember going to pick up my children for what could have been the last time. I can remember sitting up in bed with no desire to close my eyes for fear that something horrific would happen right there in Euclid Ohio. Nothing was normal for quite a while, even the television took a break from their usual schedule to show respect to the victims and families. Airplanes didn't even fly. I remember the country seemed to resemble a scene from Dr. Suess's movie "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" joining hands and singing together after all remnants of Christmas were taken away. At that time there were a lot of things filling my mind, leaving no room for peace.
The definition of the word peace is a state of tranquility or quiet. Another definition is freedom from disquieting or oppressive thoughts or emotions. Disquieting and oppressive thoughts are thoughts that press you down until you can't take anymore. I truly believe on September 11th 2001, every person gave thought to many oppressive thoughts. What if it were me? How could this happen? Are they going to attack again? Is there a God? If so, where is He? We all had questions, and I am sure still do, but the one thing I pray you have is peace.
Philippians 4:7 says "and the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Transcend means to rise above or go beyond the limits of, so what does this mean? It means that the peace is with God. If you have put your heart, mind, soul, trust, and life in the hands of God, He will give you peace. Peace that rises above anything that makes sense. Handing everything over to Him, makes room for peace. Now peace isn't saying that what happened is ok, it's just an overwhelming comfort that comes only from the Spirit that allows calmness or tranquility in the midst of turmoil. This peace allows us to focus on what is true, pure, praiseworthy, lovely, admirable, noble, right, and excellent (Phil 4:8). It allows are anxieties to take a back seat and the truth to come forward. We all know that times are tough. We know that with threats of terrorism coming through daily, that it is a possibility. We must hang on the the word of God and trust that He is in control and won't let anything happen that won't serve a purpose for His plan.
So as you sit tomorrow, remembering the lives lost on 9/11, I pray that you will lift the families of the victims up in prayer and give to God all your fears and anxieties as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Lord.