In the sanctuary of
my screened porch, I settled into the treasured time of a day off from work. A breezy peace brushed past my face
as I stared into the wooded thicket before me. A melodic interlude, sung by some feathered ones, carried my
thoughts. Along the wire fencing, a trio of orange butterflies flitted atop a troop of Black-eyed
For a fleeting
moment, I thought of the long list of waiting tasks that needed attention. In the next minute, I opened the
Bible sitting in my lap. I began reading in Matthew, chapter 24.
Pointing to the
temple buildings, Jesus asked his disciples, “Do you see all these?” He told them the truth, not one stone would
be left on another; they would all be thrown down. His companions questioned him about: when this would happen;
what would be the sign of his coming again; and about the end of the age.
Jesus counseled them not to be deceived by anyone, and further,
there would be wars, and rumors of wars. He instructed them to not be alarmed because such things must happen before the end of times as they are known. He expounded saying:
nations would rise against nations and many natural disasters would occur. Jesus added that such things would be
the beginning of birth pains.
A ringing phone
interrupted my reading and thoughts.
commanding voice, my husband Alan said, “Judy, turn on the TV news! You won’t believe what is
With a confused,
“Ok”, I hung up and switched on the news. A large airliner crashed into one of the Twin Towers in New York City!
Unable to comprehend or clearly process the scene playing out before me, many swirling questions filled my
A grey blizzard of
ashes rained down on the streets of the city while screaming people attempted to escape impending disaster. Two
planes had torn into the 110 story twin edifices of the World Trade Center (among the tallest buildings on
earth). The towers and some adjacent buildings were reduced to mountainous piles of rubble and plumes of thick,
Fiery explosions at
the Pentagon, center of our military command, resulted from the impact of a third passenger jet. A fourth
Al-Qaeda pilot headed a hijacked airliner toward the White House. Some of the passengers had been warned by cell
phone calls from loved ones. Several heroic patriots prayed, then made a quick and decisive plan. They purposed
to sacrifice their lives by overtaking the terrorists and downing the plane in a Pennsylvania field before it
could reach the target of our nation’s power.
In the hours that
followed on September 11th, 2001, many horrors loomed before the people of the United States. Three
thousand office workers, staff, first responders, airline passengers, and military personnel perished in the
terrors of that September day. Muslim Al-Qaeda pilots waged a new kind of war against American freedoms and our
way of life. Our nation witnessed the perpetration of a great wickedness and evil. An alarming new page of
history recorded these events.
Jesus’ words and warnings, I wondered: wars, rumors of wars, natural
disasters, nations rising against nations. Was this the beginning of birth pains? Where were we on the timeline
Our God knows the big
picture and the plan of what things must happen. We are to be
watchful, pray, stand firm, and trust our God to save us.