Weekly Reflections: Resilience and the American Spirit

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“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:8–9).

There was a great article in the Sentinel last week by Jennifer Peltz entitled, “Voices of Survivors of 9/11. In it, Will Jimeno’s story talks about the resilience of the human soul, and the American spirit, and the power of good people stepping up in bad times.

On 9/11, we lost more than 3,000 lives. This tragedy would hurt the souls of the American people to the core. Families’ lives would change forever, and the threat of terror would besiege our nation like never before. While we remember Sept. 11, 2001, as tragedy strikes America, stories abound of the nature of the American spirit; we fight back and never give up.

It is breathtaking to see people come together to assist others when they’re down and out. They came, ready to lift up the broken, and step up to bring light into the darkness. Many heroes gave their all, and many gave their lives in this herculean, humanitarian effort to save lives and bring dignity to the lost. Every unthinkable organization rallied together to assist and bring aid to all. First responders, churches, truck drivers, bystanders and many more came to the rescue. This was a test of will, grit, and the greatest determination of the American spirit we have ever seen in the homeland.

9/11 provoked a war that would take more lives, and change families once again. Our military families and civilians have been sacrificing for 20 years and the loss has been just as tragic. According to AP News, the human cost: American service members killed in Afghanistan through April: 2,448. U.S. contractors: 3,846. Afghan national military and police: 66,000. Other allied service members, including from other NATO member states: 1,144. Afghan civilians: 47,245. Taliban and other opposition fighters: 51,191. Aid workers: 444. Journalists: 72.

After 20 years of war, our nation’s military is finally home. Welcome home! We are proud of you all and thank you for dedicated service to our nation.

Resilience and the American spirit; As Will Jimeno stated, “The best way we can honor those we lost and those that were injured is to live a fruitful life.” God’s word says, “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Proverbs 17:22) Many times, as we go through persecution and despair, we give up because we are mentally and physically drained. We tend to believe we make it through life on our own forgetting the creator who lifts us up in times of trouble.

Proverbs 3:5–6 is a good passage to cling to whenever we can see only disaster ahead; “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths.”

We must acknowledge and trust Christ as our healer. “LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress.”(Isaiah 33:2)

We should never forget what 9/11 brought to this nation, but healing begins with our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Only he can bring the healing that our nation needs. As he forgave each one of us because of his loves for us, let us be a forgiving nation. His greatest command is to love him with all our heart, our mind and soul, and to love others. Yes, even the unlovable!

The future is in his hands, and you are too!Isaiah 41:10 says, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Victory is his!

And always remember this; “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 29:11

The word of the Lord blesses us and gives us hope! God’s blessings on you, our nation, and the world over.

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