"When terror comes, they will seek peace..."

“When terror comes, they will seek peace, but there will be none. Calamity upon calamity will come, and rumor upon rumor.” At this sixth anniversary of 9-11 these cryptic words of an ancient prophet (Ezekiel 7:25, 26) give pause for reflection, don’t they? Run through your mind a quick scan of the national and global headlines since that fateful September Tuesday in 2001. Tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes—the more than usual intensification of nature. Madrid and London and Baghdad—new hot spots in a post-9-11 world. While Ezekiel wasn’t describing the United States, his stark prediction remains unsettling: “When terror comes, they will seek peace, but there will be none.”

But then, not to worry. Because life goes on, doesn’t it? Neither this nation nor its citizens need live in the paralysis of fear, should we? After all, isn’t human history the seemingly endless cycle of predictable headlines? Doesn’t every generation have its 9-11 or Pearl Harbor or Gettysburg? Not to worry. Or in the words of Bobby McFarren’s 1988 bromide, “Don’t worry—be happy!”

And yet, anniversaries such as this one deserve some reflective thinking, don’t they? Candidly, in the course of my sojourn on this planet I do not remember a time when the brightest thinkers of this generation have seemed so much at a quandary for lack of a workable solution to this civilization’s greatest challenges. Too many are concerned that predictable cycles can no longer explain the growing morass.

Two thousand years ago, after giving a prescient description of what could be our generation, Christ offered his counsel: “When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near” (Luke 21:28). Not exactly a “don’t worry—be happy” quip, but it certainly rings with a very positive call to hope and courage, does it not? Irrespective of the anniversaries or headlines, look on the very bright side—the deliverance of the human race is drawing near!

Which is why you and I can celebrate the hope we find in Jesus. “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” And no wonder. Because from beyond the terror comes riding the Prince of Peace. And that is one piece of history I don’t want to miss!

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