On 9/11 we ran for cover. On 9/12 we ran to God. Churches overflowed. Synagogues were packed. Sanctuaries and temples swelled to capacity. Four thousand people gathered in a Manhattan Cathedral. A New York City church filled and emptied six times in one day. Street vendors were replaced by prayer counselors who stood beneath banners that read: “We will pray for you.”
Across the country, congregations hastily assembled post-attack prayer services. We did in San Antonio, Texas. "Come and Pray for Peace" our outdoor sign invited. You would have thought it was Easter Sunday. Standing Room Only.
Ironic. Usama Bin Laden intended to bring America to her knees, and he did—we prayed. What does this say about us? At least this much: we are a spiritual people. For all our talk about secularism, self-reliance and self-sufficiency, where we do we turn in turbulence? We turn to God.
We find Him to be -- to use the old coinage --“an anchor of the soul” (Heb. 6:10). Everyone anchors to something. A retirement account, a resume. A person or a position. “When the storm comes,” they say, “this will get me through.”
On 9/11 we turned to the sturdiest anchor of all: God. Only He promises to secure our most precious commodity -- our souls. When God breathed into Adam, he gave him more than oxygen; he gave him an eternal essence. He gave you the same. Because of your soul, you wrestle with right and wrong, value the lives of others and get choked up at the singing of our national anthem. The soul is that part of you dares to believe that good comes out of evil, Right still sits on the throne and the next life will make sense of this one
This world can be tough on a soul. Yours needs an anchor: a double pointed cast-iron hooking point that is sturdier than the storm.
Storms still rage. “Irene” wreaks havoc and earthquakes shake our national monuments. Economy feels as sturdy as paper-mache. God never promised a life with no storms. But He did promise to meet us in the midst of them. storms. He met us ten years ago. He does still.
“God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).
Here’s hoping we never have to face another 9/11. But if we do, I pray that you’ve secured your soul to God -- the anchor of the soul.
Max Lucado is the author of "God's Story, Your Story" which will be published on September 20. He is the author of more than 60 books. Lucado is senior pastor of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, where he has served since 1988. He holds a B.A. in mass communications and a master’s in biblical and related studies from Abilene Christian University in Texas. Lucado and his wife Denalyn have three grown daughters.
Max Lucado is a San Antonio pastor and best-selling author. His latest book is "Anxious for Nothing: Finding Calm in a Chaotic World" (Thomas Nelson, September 2017). Visit his website at www.MaxLucado.com. Follow him on Twitter @MaxLucado.