Do you remember where you were on September 11, 2001? I was at Twin Towers. No, not the famous Twin Towers that was destroyed by terrorists. I was working at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility in Los Angeles. But hearing there was an attack on Twin Towers was surreal. I watched helplessly with the rest of the world as two airplanes purposefully crashed into those towers and moments later, they completely collapsed.
For days and weeks following the attacks I was like a caged animal. Word of first responders assembling from around the country and several of my friends and coworkers used their vacations to rush to assist in any way they could. The best of the Los Angeles Sheriff Department were assembled and on their way within hours of the call for help. My heart was filled with pride even while my heart ached for the families of those who died. We worked in silence and prayed unspoken prayers asking for God's grace and mercy to be revealed.
There were many inspirational stories from the front lines being reported over the news. Stories of compassion, brotherhood, and how people willingly sacrificed their lives to save others. I don't think I stoped crying for days as I was encouraged and remembered that we have the honor of living in the most amazing country in the world, and we have the most amazing people who live here. Everywhere you saw the American flag being displayed, people had flags on their cars, their homes, and even wore flag clothing. Country songs were written about the event, and fundraising efforts were everywhere to send money to families who had lost loved ones. For a moment in time, America was united in one purpose: To help.
I recently found a poem written by a confederate soldier during the civil war. In the poem he shares the way God is revealed in our challenges, tests, and trials.
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve.
I was made weak, that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health, that I might do great things.
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.
I asked for riches, that I might be happy.
I was given poverty, that I might be wise.
I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men.
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life.
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things.
I got nothing I asked for-- but everything I had hoped for.
Almost desperate myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among men, most richly blessed.
Today, as you go about your day contemplating the challenges you may be facing, think on the words of the soldier who found God waiting to give blessings in ways you may not even be praying for, but in ways that are exactly what you need.