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September 10, 2011

Ten years later, where is the trust in God?

With the 10th anniversary of 9/11 upon us, I'm drawn to words of the Bible in Micah 4:5, "All the nations may walk in the name of their gods, but we'll walk in the name of the Lord our God forever and ever."

God is always working things out according to his plans and timing. I am convinced God has his hand in every detail, and so it is ultimately God who has brought me to a time and place to briefly speak on this event that brutally took so many lives and left so many painful scars on America.

It is with humility and compassion, soberness and carefulness, that I offer my thoughts on a subject that has had such a profound effect on so many.

On a personal note, 9/11 started out with my wife and I having breakfast in front of the TV. We saw those planes hit the Twin Towers. That day, I was scheduled to attend an important matter related to ministry. While our nation was having its heart broken by terrorists, I was busy with this necessary ministerial business that could not be set aside. Somehow, even in the midst of a national crisis, God stilled my heart and mind enough to get done what my schedule called for that awful day. God can calm troubled hearts and minds, even 10 years later, for those who will look to him for comfort and hope.

American flags shot up across our nation in extraordinary numbers as patriotism had a 21st century revival. Many meeting places of worship filled up across the country. That very weekend, I was the guest speaker at our home church. I suddenly had to change my message to something fitting the national crisis.

I preached from Psalm 11: "In the Lord I take refuge. How then can you say to me, 'Flee like a bird to your mountain? For look, the wicked bend their bows; they set their arrows against the strings to shoot from the shadows at the upright in heart. When the foundations are being destroyed, what can the righteous do?' The Lord is in his holy temple; the Lord is on his heavenly throne."

Emotions ran high, and many across America turned to God. We're still a patriotic people, but where have all those flags gone? Too few and far between do we see the flag flown on the porches of America on those special days to show our stars and stripes. We're still a spiritual people, but where has all that spiritual fervor gone? Too many have forgotten God and have been content to turn this nation over to evil forces, taking America down a road of spiritual decline through perverse lifestyles and other ungodly behavior.

In spite of all our country has been through, 10 years later, America is still free and undefeated by terrorism and hate. It's still a land of good and God-fearing people. Americans each and every day put one foot in front of the other, with many looking to the Lord for strength and encouragement. America's best days can yet be ahead if people will humble themselves, pray, seek God's face and turn from their wicked ways. Then God will hear from heaven, forgive sins and heal the country.

Christ is watching over America with love, patience and compassion. He knows what this nation has gone through, and he's there for each one of us if we'll look to him in believing faith.

The Rev. Jim Wheeler Sr. is a local Assemblies of God Evangelist.

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