I had just come back from Dr. Akin’s preaching class and began getting ready for work. I turned on the television to watch the weather when instead I saw a picture of one of the Twin Towers on fire. Is this the anniversary of the bombing? I thought. Then I noticed that the smoke was coming from the top, not the ground level of the World Trade Center. Turning the hot water off, I went over to turn the volume up and noticed the words “LIVE” in the corner of the screen.
At that time, the first impact had only been a few minutes before and no one really knew what had happened. One newsman being interviewed had been close to the building said it sounded like a missile. Someone is shooting missiles? Where did they fire from? Who’s doing it? I woke my wife up, and turned the other television on, so I could continue to watch and listen as I shaved.
And then it happened. Melinda called out, ‘John, look!’ And as I turned, I saw a plane fly into the second tower. My heart skipped a beat. What’s going on? Couldn’t the pilot see the building? Did he have a heart attack or something? Then the nefarious reality of the situation began to sink in. Wait a minute; both towers were hit – that means . . . . And I said to my wife, “That’s no accident, someone is doing this on purpose.”
That thought was bad enough. But then I saw my wife, holding our newborn son closer than she ever had before. He was just over a month old, and it hit me: What kind of a world did I bring my son into?
At that moment, I believed I had a small glimpse into the mind of God. Not long after God sent his Son, Jesus, into the world, a mad king murdered dozens of young boys seeking to wipe out the Jewish Messiah. Of course, God knew that was simply a taste of the evil that would await his son. I too was reminded that my son, Joshua, would probably also live to see events just as horrific and sinful – possibly more so – during his lifetime. The world I had brought my son into was not a perfect world, or even a good world. It was a sinful world. And that which is sinful produces sin.
Of course, God is not to blame in this, we are. We’re the ones who rebelled against him; we’re the ones who failed to trust him; we’re the ones who failed to give him the glory and love that was due him as Creator of all things. And so, it was because of us that the once good, even very good creation was plunged into sin, cursed by God.
But thanks be to the God in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom 8:5).
The great hope for this world is Jesus Christ. Through him, God is reconciling himself to the world. One day sin and its ravaging effects will be wiped away. Those who have trusted in Christ as their Savior will likewise be freed from the pain of sin.
Yes, my son was born into a wicked world. But it is not a world without hope. Even in the midst of such horrible things as 9/11, we can have confidence that God is work, saving a people for himself, fulfilling his plan to do away with sin for all time.
And that’s worth remembering. . . over and over again.
A version of this article originally appeared on this blog on September 11, 2007.