Thinking back on the events of 15 years ago, I find myself giving thanks to the Lord for His presence, hope and peace that comes in good times and in bad times. It was a beautiful day. Clear, blue September skies. The smell of of a fire under a copper kettle filled with apples was in the air. A morning in which you could say, "The Lord is here." We knew the presence of the Lord at that moment. Fellowship of the body taking place as the members of Bethlehem, Ferrin, IL were cooking apple butter. It didn't get much better than that. The kids were outside that morning, as they did each year at apple butter time. They were ready for school but had to spend a little time with the people who loved and cared for them. They were able to watch as the kettles were being stirred. Childlike wonder filled their lives. They had seen this each year and still, they loved it. It didn't get much better than that. I can safely say, "The Lord is here."
It was quite the day. It changed quickly. News spread through the people. We all know where we were and what we were doing that day. Terror at the fact that someone would hijack a plane and use it and the people in it for their own goals of destruction and terror. Yep, it worked. Terror broke upon the hearts of many people. Then sorrow. Great sorrow. More sorrow than we had know for a generation. Death, destruction, loss, fear, uncertainty and much more. Shock on the faces of people. Wonder. What will happen next? How will this play out? It was a day when we could say, "The Lord is here."
That is something that we can say every day. The Lord is here. That is a reality. Some acknowledge it. Others deny it. Some hold fast to it. Others let it go. No matter what we think, do, or even consider, the fact is, the Lord is here. He is always here. He is always with us. He is in our lives, in good time and in bad times. He is with us in health and in sickness. He is with us in apple butter cooking and in tragedy and death of 9/11. That reality, that fact, is what gives hope in this world. It gives hope to me. It gives hope to you.
We don't always think we need the Lord. "I got this," we will say. But we don't. Even when it is going the way we plan, we don't go it. He has it. He has everything in His hand. He has you and me, the events of our lives. He has it all in His hand. He is with us. He cares for us. He never, never ever, leaves us or leaves us to our own devices.
I was reading the other day, "Does God really care who is elected as president?" The answer is, "yes." He does. There is nothing in this world that He doesn't care about. He cares. He guides. Even when we don't understand (like in this election when we don't know which one is the better of a two bad choices), He still cares. He is still in control. He is still right there with us.
That was very obvious in 2001 and it is just as obvious in 2016. Blue skies. Fires under kettles. Planes in the air. Death happening at every moment. Sickness. Problems. Sorrows. Fears. Anxieties. Joys. Life. Births. Normal. Easy. Nice. Beautiful. In all things, He is here. The Lord is with you. Now and always.
Thank You Lord. Thank You.