Thursday, September 13, 2012

Security In Hope

Reject Despair
“Because I remember, I despair. Because I remember, I have the duty to reject despair.” Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor

(I apologize that this post is two days late. I had problems with blogger and couldn’t get it posted. Next week, hopefully, we’ll be back on schedule.)

This photo is of a remembrance rock from the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. The rock’s purpose is to give museum visitors something tangible to remember the atrocities perpetrated against the Jews in World War II.

As I’m writing this, the sun is setting on the eleventh anniversary of the terror attacks against our nation. I still get chills watching the film footage of the planes slamming into the World Trade Center, the buildings falling, and people screaming and running. The scenes feel even more surreal and eerie than eleven years ago. I’m immediately transported back to that day and how life unfolded in the aftermath. If you’d like to read my reflections from the tenth anniversary, click here.

Today is also my son Josh’s eighteenth birthday. To say his birthday has been overshadowed by the terrorist attacks for the past eleven years is an understatement. His generation has grown up with the War on Terror, just like my generation had the Cold War, though we never experienced a physical attack.

Josh’s life has been a challenge on many fronts, but he has overcome most of these challenges. I shared an illustration through a devotion, Perseverance Produces Hope, not long ago.   

Josh is a senior in high school. He’s also a volunteer firefighter. After two years of training through our local volunteer fire department and vigorous firefighting classes, he will receive his “black helmet” at tonight’s meeting, signifying his full firefighter status. It’s safe to say this will be the most important birthday he has celebrated. It’s all he’s talked about for weeks.

I shared a slide show on my Facebook page of photos from Josh’s birth up to the present. Among the comments I received was, “Rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn.”

I can’t think of a better phrase to encourage.

Let’s face it. We don’t know when or if another attack will take place on our shores or against an American entity overseas.* But while it’s important we remember the fallen and pray that history doesn’t repeat itself, we must never give up hope.

“You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.” Job 11:18

Even in his worst trial, Job had hope. We have a duty as Christians to reject despair, rejoice in the hope found in Christ Jesus, and go about the daily business of life.

9/11 symbolizes America’s heartache and perseverance, but it’s also a symbol of one of the greatest days of my life—the day my son was born.

Life truly is how you choose to frame it. While we mourn with those who mourn, rejecting despair is imperative to the Christian life and witness. It is through God’s hope that we have life.

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Please share any prayer requests or praise reports in the comments section or email me confidential requests. The permanent prayer list is listed on a separate page above, as is updates for Sgt. Jesse McCart, a soldier severely injured in Afghanistan when he stepped on an IED. Please continue to lift these folks up in prayer.

I praise God that Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was released from an Iranian prison on September 8, after a judge dropped the apostasy charge and sentenced him for witnessing to Muslims. Many people worldwide, including myself, had prayed for his release. His sentence equaled time already served. When given the chance to renounce his Christianity so his life would be spared three years ago, Youcef's answer was, “I cannot.” What an incredible example for all Christians! I often wonder if I could have stood as firm in the face of a death sentence. Please continue to pray for his attorney who was sentenced to nine years for threatening national security and spreading propaganda by defending Youcef and others over the years.

God bless,
Laura

*This devotion was written prior to the attacks in Libya against our ambassador Chris Stevens and his staff. I decided not to change the wording because it illustrates the very point I was trying to make. Please keep the families of the fallen in your prayers.


 © Laura Hodges Poole

3 comments:

  1. Happy birthday and a HUGE congratulations to your son!

    My heart aches at the state of our country and our world. I continue to pray for eyes and hearts to be opened to reality and for true repentance before it's too late.

    Thank you for your thought-provoking post and for the encouragement.

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    1. Thanks, Jennifer! I'm glad you enjoyed the post. Prayer is the most important thing we can do for our nation. I look forward to hearing from you in the future and reading more of your blog posts. God bless you.

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  2. thanks for sharing.

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