God can work all things for good

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Everyone I know can remember exactly where they were and what they were doing 10 years ago today. I was in a hospital waiting room with my wife, our 9-month-old and my mother-in-law. We were waiting while my father-in-law was sedated in a surgery room. The routine procedure went off without any trouble. Little did we realize how routine was changing.

We watched the news as they began to broadcast the first plane -- in what seemed a horrible accident -- struck the first tower. The second plane struck and it was clear to all that this was not an accident. Shock grew to disbelief as the silence of the waiting room became deafening. My daughter played in the corner, oblivious to the world she just inherited.

The words of Romans 8 rang out in my church that evening, in churches around the nation and before a national audience a few days later. Bold, confident and compassionate words spurring us to trust in the God who works through all things for good. Not rejoicing in all things but not allowing the evil acts of others to hold us captive. Words that grow reliance upon the God for whom neither heights nor depths, death nor life, the fears of today nor the worries of tomorrow can cause separation.

These words continue to remind us that tragedy of personal, national and international scale may be defining moments in our lives, but they will not define the whole of our lives. God can work all things for good.

Routine embraced a new face that Tuesday morning. Consistently our hearts are pricked when we see the New York skyline. Removing our shoes to fly is becoming second nature. We regularly express value to our first responders. Our military men and women have risen to new challenges. As they have risen, so has our pride in them. Solidarity compels us to face and overcome the challenges of an ever changing global society.

The attack on the twin towers forever changed the routine of America. Ten years have passed and we are still trying to know how to deal with the implications of 9/11. Today, link arms with neighbors around the nation and the world. Pause to remember those who had their lives taken from them and those who gave their lives that day and since.

Rob Hurtgen is a regular religion columnist for the Southeast Missourian. He is a husband, father, minister and writer. Read more from him at www.robhurtgen.wordpress.com.

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