As the anniversary of September 11th  came about this year I couldn’t help but think of the days and weeks that followed . This was a day that affected all of us in one way or another. Some directly and others indirectly, but we all felt something. In the days after 9/11 we saw people come together despite their differences. There was a sense of hope even in the midst of the chaos. People were a little kinder, doors were held for others, smiles shared with strangers, and people focused on loving others. A part of me misses those days and that feeling of unity.


This week as I was reflecting about those times I realized how short lived they were. Anytime we look at the news and the politics in our current society we see divisiveness. Social media bombards us with hate and ugliness. Having a different view than expected by society is considered bigoted, racist, or hateful. As Christians we are often targeted in social media comment sections because of our belief that God’s word is true. Many of the hot topics debated are things that the scriptures are pretty straightforward on. The feelings of what united us being stronger than what divides us is gone and everywhere we look people are being shut down or attacked for a different opinion.


I miss the times when people cared more about others and less about being right. It can get quite depressing navigating this world of so-called “cancel culture”. But then I remember that we serve an amazing God who not only loves us, but who is with us every moment of every day. God doesn’t promise us that things will be easy or wonderful here on this earth. Accepting Christ as our Lord and savior is not some instant magic pill for an easy life. We will face trials and tribulations. There will be hard times and struggles, but what God does promise us is that we don’t have to face them alone. He is right there with us in the fire. James chapter one verse two tells us that we should consider it joy when we face trials. 


These trials help us to strengthen our faith. 


Personally I have been through some trying times that I never in a million years thought I would experience. In the matter of just a short couple of years I went from feeling on top of the world to a failed marriage, moving by myself across the country to start over, the loss of my dad,  and not knowing if I would be able to pay my bills to keep a roof over my head. However, God was with me through all of it, and the blessings I experienced coming through the other side are still showing up years later. A testament to who God is and how he can bring the most amazing things out of our darkest moments. 


Life is tough here on this earth. There is no denying that, we will see struggles as individuals and as a community, but those who know Christ can rest in the peace that we serve an amazing God who tells us: “I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:20. I hope that as you remember 9/11 and navigate our world today you can remember that through everything good and bad God is with us! 


Susan Knowlton
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