9-11 Reflection – 19 years on.

Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.

Matthew 14:27

We men try to construct manageable lives with some security and predictability to maintain the illusion that we are in control. We desire to stay in the boat of our making because it is convenient, safe, and warm. And then something happens — like the tragedy of September 11, 2001 — that shakes everything up. And we are left with the options to fear the events of this world or to focus on the Savior.

Don’t you want to be like Peter? Don’t you want to walk on water, look beyond the tragedy, move past the fear? We have to start by getting out of the boat. And we have to focus on the Savior. Only then do we have the courage to take the first step.

When we focus on the Savior, we are given courage. Courage is not the absence of fear but the ability to walk on in spite of it. Courage is the muscle of character that flexes to give individuals, families, and nations strength to continue in the midst of overwhelming odds.

Courage kept firefighters and rescue workers searching for bodies in the wreckage of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. It gave federal agents the resolve to apprehend possible assassins. It enabled our military personnel to face a cowardly enemy that had no regard for human life. It was the strength that surfaced in victims’ families to face another day without their loved ones.

It is impossible to survive the storms and calamities of life without courage. It is the coat of character that we wear into the storm. Exterior supports may temporarily sustain us, but only inward character creates courage.

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