remembering “Who”…


[Dees-claimer: It will be obvious that I began crafting this blog several days ago. This is a very personal blog for me because of the emotion and memory it stirs up in me, and may stir up in the reader as well. In fact, it may raise more questions than answers. Be that as it may, my hope is that you might find encouragement to seek the “Who” I refer to, Who alone can bring any lasting peace and satisfaction.]

On my way home I was captured by the beauty of the moon and stars on their vigil through the night sky. Perfect they are in their courses and flight, so much so that men chart their courses by them, and align their clocks, and calendars, and all manner of things by them. And I thought about the fact it is God Who set them in their places and on their course.

“By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.”
          Psalm 33:6

“He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.”
            Psalm 147:4

“When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?”
            Psalm 8:3,4

I understood that it is God, the Sovereign Creator, Who did all this. But though I stood in wonder of all this, I was also troubled… especially the part about God being Sovereign; He is Lord of all. Why would this be troubling?

Because during the day I was remembering.

You see, today is 9.11.  And though the very young of my audience may not see the significance of this, to us older ones the mention of 9.11 probably brings a flood of memories of that horribly fateful day. September 11, 2001 was the day America was attacked on it’s own turf by terrorists who hijacked several aircraft and flew them into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, and also into the Pentagon, HQ for the US Department of Defense. (And let’s not forget the brave souls on Flight 93, who prevented another attempt on Washington, D.C., by assaulting the hijackers, and causing the plane to crash down in Shanksville, PA.) The result was the total demolition of the World Trade Center, severe damage to the Pentagon, and the loss of over 3,000 lives– the single most devastating incident in U.S. history.

Yes, there is a lot of “I remember what I was doing at 8:46 am on 9/11/01” going on everywhere. I not only remember where I was and what I was doing, but I can still feel the emotion I experienced in those moments as keenly now as I did then. I remember collapsing in a seat and weeping as I watched the news coverage. I remember the panic trying to overtake me when I couldn’t reach my relatives in Wash., D.C. because all the lines were tied up. But most of all, I remember with keen recollection the sense of utter and complete loss that overwhelmed me in those hours. It was kind of the ‘straw that broke the camel’s back’ for me, because 2001 was a very, VERY difficult year for me. You see, this was also the year that I experienced my first divorce (after nearly 20 yrs of marriage), and the loss of the best and most satisfying job I had ever had in my life up to that point. For some reason the events of 9.11.01 seemingly wiped away my foundation and plunged me into despair, which took me a couple of years to recover from.

These were the memories I was pondering while I was gazing upon the night time handiwork of God. Sovereign? And in control? Well, you know what’s coming next: then WHY? It’s always the question we ask of God when horrible things happen and nothing about it makes sense, much less God Himself. And though the intensity of my current “why” was not as strong as that of 9.11.01, still I had them on 9.11.15, because I have some very difficult and painful situations I’m enduring and wading through right now. So, with bated breath we wonder, what IS the answer to “why?”

Sorry, I don’t have the answer. I didn’t have it then, and I really don’t have it now. Well, I don’t have an answer that anyone in dire straights would like. I don’t have ‘pat’ answers that will necessarily calm all the fears, solve all the problems, resolve all the conflicts. And as much as I want to have any and all of those, I simply do not. But I can sincerely say this: the answer to my “why” is “Who.” Even in all my pain, heartache, anger and whatever else, when I settle down, and my soul is quiet enough, my answer still resides in “Who”, and that “Who” is The Lord God Almighty.

Let’s look at those passages I mentioned before, but expanded this time:

Psalm 33:4-11
“For the word of the Lord is right and true;
He is faithful in all he does.
The Lord loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of his unfailing love.
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
their starry host by the breath of his mouth.
He gathers the waters of the sea into jars;
he puts the deep into storehouses.
Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the people of the world revere him.
For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.
The Lord foils the plans of the nations;
he thwarts the purposes of the peoples.
But the plans of the Lord stand firm forever,
the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Psalm 147:2-6
“The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the exiles of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars
and calls them each by name.
Great is our Lord and mighty in power;
his understanding has no limit.
The Lord sustains the humble
but casts the wicked to the ground.”

Psalm 8:2-5
“Through the praise of children and infants
You have established a stronghold against your enemies,
to silence the foe and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
human beings that you care for them?
You have made them a little lower than the angels
and crowned them with glory and honor.”

Over the years in my journey as a follower of God in Christ I have come to understand something of the nature of the character of God. Among the many things I’ve learned I now understand that (1) He is good, (2) He is deeply concerned for the humble, the weak, the broken, the oppressed, (3) His wisdom and understanding are many times unfathomable from a human stand point, but none the less flawless, (4) He WILL exact justice and mercy in due season… whatever that season may be. HE HAS NOT FORGOTTEN HIS PEOPLE. As sure as the stars, moon, and sun in their courses, God’s power, wisdom, and will to act are more certain than the rising and setting of the same.

So, in my remembering… and in my pain and sorrow and loss and “why”… I remember “Who” it is that loves me most, and “Who’s” I have become. No, I’m not always ‘satisfied’ with the lack of the kind of answer I want to my “why”, but I am satisfied in knowing, personally knowing, the Maker of the moon and the stars. That is enough to get me through this leg of my journey, and by His grace and love, complete the journey as well.

About Lem Dees

Singer, song writer, worship leader... father, granddad... Lover of, beloved of, Jesus.
This entry was posted in Christianity, Encouragement, Faith, Personal, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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