At our regular Friday chapel yesterday, Dr. Stoner opened the service with a reflection upon 9/11, a date now familiar to all of our students though not one was alive on that day and most faculty were in grade school themselves. Dr. Stoner reminded our students of core truths and our assurance that God is in control in the midst of the darkest of days. His words are below:
“In the history of any nation there are days that mark sad events in which many people died or were injured. Some dates mark the start or end of a war between America and another country. Other dates mark natural disasters such as storms, earthquakes, or devastating fires. Occasionally, these dates mark times when evil people do things intentionally to harm others.
As September 11 (or 9/11 as it has become forever known) is upon us, you have likely heard about what happened on that day.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord. The maker of heaven and earth.”
As our nation marks the 20th anniversary of those events, you will hear more stories and see images of that difficult day across the news and your TV screens at home.
I still remember where I was that day and the days that followed. On September 12, 2001, the day after 9/11, we gathered the students at my school in the chapel, similar to how we are meeting now. I told the students at my school they are safe because of the care of their families, the care of their school, and the care of their government which is working to protect them. However, I told the students that, above all, our safety and help rests in the hands of the living God. In the words of the Psalmist:
“I lift up my eyes to the hills. Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord. The maker of heaven and earth.”
This truth remains the same today. Let’s turn our minds and hearts to God by faith in worship with gratitude for His love and care for us.”
Thank you, Dr. Stoner, for these important reminders, to our students and to us all. Our love and prayers are with all who are hurting as we remember those who lost their lives on this day 20 years ago.