Week 37 Word: Peacemaker
Week 37 Text: 2 Corinthians 13:11
Written By: Mendy Shriver
“Finally, brothers and sisters, rejoice! Strive for full restoration, encourage one another, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” (2 Corinthians 13:11 NIV)
It was a stunning September morning. Per my nausea, I figured I was about ten weeks along. Driving to my doctor’s appointment, I wanted to sing along with the radio as the sunshine peeked through my windshield. I rolled my windows down to feel the crisp air on my face. I was happy. I was about to hear the heartbeat of baby number two for the first time.
Every radio station had only news, but I was searching for a good beat to meet my current joyful mood. I didn’t pay attention to the words on the stations, and finally turned off my radio as to not disrupt my peaceful thoughts of cuddling, holding, and nursing my new baby.
The moment I walked into the gynecologist’s waiting room, my mood was abruptly interrupted by the images on the television. The second plane had just hit Tower 2. It was September 11th, 2001. I sat in disbelief. I began to cry. Once in the exam room, my doctor assured me that my hormone counts were good, and the heartbeat was solid. Then our discussion turned to the Twin Towers and the devastation in New York.
I went home and was glued to my television while my toddler played on the floor with Tonka trucks. I took in all the smoke, falling ash on the New York skyline, and the reality that we had just been attacked by terrorists. I began to worry. What kind of world was I bringing my new baby into? Will we go to war? Will they call up my husband from the Marine Corp Reserves? What will become of my little toddler playing on the floor? I was frozen. I was stuck. A sadness poured over me that couldn’t be soothed.
Churches all over the country opened their doors, inviting people to come pray. With a sick feeling in my stomach, I drove myself to church. I sat in disbelief as I cried out to God. I watched my church fill up with people I had never seen attend our church. It was beautiful. People were united and holding hands. Families were praying together. We sent our prayers up to heaven like the burning aroma of incense. In that moment, I had no doubt that God was pleased with His people as we knelt in prayer united toward Him. In the coming weeks, as a body of Christ, we stood in unison encouraging and loving each other. Only through our togetherness in Christ were we, as a Nation, able to regain peace and fully restore our faith.
I will never forget those moments, feelings, and sorrowful weeks surrounding 911. In life, trials come that feel as personally devastating as 9/11. We are each on our own path as we journey and toil through this life. There is only One who will never leave or forsake us. His name is Jesus. Sometimes though, He is hard to see through all the burning ash falling from the sky, or the sorrow that surrounds you. Today, as you face a trial or simply reflect on September 11th, 2001, remember: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit will be with you all.” (1 Corinthians 13:14). Even though we struggle, His grace, His love, and His fellowship are there.
1. When in my life have I felt so devastated and hurt that I had trouble seeing and feeling God’s presence, Jesus’ love and the Holy Spirit’s fellowship?
2. In 2 Corinthians 13:11, what are Paul’s instructions to us as believers? If we live these instructions out with one another, how can we help each other see Jesus when it feels like He’s not there?