Page 254 was the start of another work week, but it was also the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. I find it sad that it takes disasters and tragedies to draw attention to the benefit and joy of working together. It’s not that people don’t help each other in the day to day grind of regular life, but we don’t hear about it so we begin to think it doesn’t take place. And yes, large scale disasters such as the recent hurricanes do tend to make people think about what is important and, at least temporarily, cause them to put differences aside to help people they might not be inclined to be involved with under different circumstances. As I remember so many stories of strangers helping one another on 9/11 and see similar stories coming out of Texas, Louisiana, and Florida, I can’t help but wonder what would happen if people not only continued to help others without regard for any differences, but if news of that help would be shared on a regular basis. If we were consistently hearing, and seeing examples, of the good being done by strangers for strangers, perhaps more people would be inclined to put differences aside and join in.
Anyhow, that was just some “for free” thoughts that were running through my head throughout the day as the nation’s responses to 9/11 and hurricanes Harvey and Irma intermingled in my head. With those thoughts in my mind, I went about the usual morning prayer, cleaning and building prep to start my day. Once the building was ready, I settled in for some time with God to put together the next prayer guide. I considered several different topics today before finally settling on the subject of living with confidence. The key to living with a healthy kind of confidence is found in relationship with God as we put our trust in Him. The Bible warns that putting our confidence in our own wisdom, in our own strength, in our own resources, or in other people will eventually fail. Putting our confidence in God, however, will result in a confidence that endures even through judgment.
The morning was gone by the time the prayer guide was written for next week, then I spent the early part of the afternoon formatting it and scheduling it to be published on my website and go out via email on Sunday. By mid-afternoon I had accomplished my work for the day so I stopped by the house to put my kayak in the truck before getting a late lunch and heading down to Potato Creek to enjoy some time on the water. It was beautiful on the lake even though the eagles seemed to be nowhere to be found. I eventually decided to call it a day and as I came back to the boat ramp I had started from, one of the bald eagles was perched in the tree overlooking the area. I managed to get some photos I liked of it and enjoyed watching it. Another boat came in off the lake as I loaded my kayak into the truck, and the eagle decided that was too much activity so he flew off. Today’s photo is one I found quite fitting as the eagle appeared to be “standing tall” as a national symbol of freedom. While I enjoy the freedoms that exist within the country I live in, they quickly pale in comparison to the great freedom I have in Christ.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Time has a way of causing people to forget things they said they would never forget.
- Remembrances and memorials help us remember — that’s why throughout scripture we see God consistently giving instructions about remembering His work and memorials to help people do just that.
- What we consistently take into our mind is what we will eventually believe.
- Yes, bad happens but there is probably more good taking place around us than we usually realize.
- If we’re able to look beyond differences and help one another in times of crisis, we ought to be able to do so when times are good.
- If we put our confidence in anything other than God, we will eventually be disappointed.
- Confidence that is based on a trust in God and His work can carry us through anything.
- Freedom within a nation can be a precarious thing. Freedom in Christ is the only way to really “stand tall”.