Post 9/11 Generation: Let's Roll!
By Stacie Ruth Stoelting
As a member of the Post 9/11 Generation, I ate dinner with Lisa Jefferson, the lady who took Todd Beamer’s phone call on September 11, 2001. I observed her grace, love, and kindness. Lisa radiates Jesus’ love, joy, and peace.
As a young person, I admired how her soul shimmers with God’s grace. She knows how to live in the dark dirt of tragedy yet open her petals and blossom with Jesus’ love. She is a flower in God’s garden. Yet she once faced unimaginable horrors.
Lisa Jefferson heard Todd Beamer say, “Let’s roll!” She mourned when he died. In her marvelous book, Called, she detailed her avalanche of emotions. Only God gave her grace to move on. One call changed her life.
On 9/11, I, too, received a call that riveted my soul and changed my life: My elderly grandma phoned me with the news that tragedy struck New York City. I immediately reached for my remote. I saw it all:
Smoke. Fire. Screaming people. News reporters, wearing suits that looked pulled together, unraveled and became unstrung. Every single channel –even TCM, HSN, and others- posted bulletins on the shocking terrors.
Angry Arabs, who believed in Jihad, rubbed their hands in satisfaction. While America cried for her dead children, believers in Jihad cried for joy. While believers in Jihad regrouped, we recovered.
While they acted, we reacted. We feared. We grieved. We believed. We believed that God would bless America as we turned to Him. “God Bless America” blessed us as all kinds of people sang it.
I was a young, emotional, and “very reactive” teen. I felt fear. Fear that I’d never felt before. Fear for my country. Fear for my future. Fear for my life. But God helped me face my fear with faith.
As a member of the first high school graduating class to graduate following 9/11, I faced the future with fright, but later I faced the future with faith. Only faith in Jesus filled me with hope. Only faith allowed me to dream despite tragedy.
Terrorists blazed onto the scene and screen of every home in America. All generations were affected; my Grandma Hilda and I were connected.
But when older generations die, mine will still remember. My generation has a voice; it’s not as loud as the older generations. But it is strong. And it will last.
My generation and I will tell our grandchildren about 9/11, just as my Grandma told me about Pearl Harbor. We are the Post 9/11 Generation.
We will get married and go on honeymoons. But at the airport we’ll have to dump our toiletries or pack them in our checked luggage. We’ll be screened. We’ll be searched. We’ll be detained.
We will have children. Our children will grow up with some new words: Al-Qaeda, Jihad, and others. They’ll learn our National Anthem, but they’ll also discover more about our National Security. They’ll learn what we never knew before 9/11.
9/11. We didn’t have to name the day. It was so horrific that we simply mention the date. A historical date never brought such chills. The history of it has its horrors, but it also has its heroes.
Christians such as Todd Beamer, Lisa Jefferson, and others pointed people to Jesus. Meanwhile, terrorists tried to destroy America’s security. But they could not destroy America’s spirit.
Why? As a nation whose founders believed in Jesus, America still holds an undeniable Christian heritage. (But if America would ever completely eliminate and ignore God, America would be eliminated.) Spiritual preparation for facing terrorism is very important. It warrants attention.
We need to prepare. We need to get ready for our future by staying connected with our churches, Christian friends, and, most of all, Jesus Christ. We need to arm ourselves with the ammunition of the Spirit. (See Ephesians 6.)
We need to be wise. For the Post 9/11 Generation, the following verse means a lot: “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:16, NASB) We need to think like the terrorists (i.e. preventing the recent British plot) and then overcome them with a good plan. Wisdom dictates our battle tactics.
We need to fight evil with good. We need to overcome evil. We need to do what God said, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:21, NIV) Through prayer, preparation, and unity, a lot can be done.
We need to focus. In order to do good things, we need to be focused on our God, who is completely good. He is our loving Heavenly Father who is holy, just, and wise. God alone is the One to Whom we submit our life’s finals for grades. It is only through Jesus Christ alone that we’ll get our +A’s on our life’s finals! He deserves our dedication.
We need to rededicate. That’s why this Post 9/11 Generation must rededicate this country to Christ. We need to become lawyers, politicians, entertainers, managers, and founders of missions so that we can infiltrate the entire scope of America’s culture.
We need to worship. After all, our Boss and Leader is our Heavenly Father Who cares for us. Jehovah-Jireh provides for us. With those provisions, we need to work for God and God alone. This is how: “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” (Colossians 3:23-24, NIV) Our lives need to be full of acts of worship as we work for Him.
Post 9/11 Generation, this message is especially for you, but it applies to everyone: We need to stand strong for Christ. Only when we stand strong for Christ will we truly stand strong for America. Let’s make our kids and grandkids proud. Let’s teach them not only about 9/11, but also about how our faith-filled lives made America greater. With Christ, we can make America greater. Let’s do it.
Stacie Ruth Stoelting and Bright Light Ministry share how to have victory over tragedies. At 22, she already has experienced helping the hurting: At 15, Stacie Ruth wrote Still Holding Hands: Bonus Tips for Caregivers & Tips for Helping Families Facing Alzheimer’s, depicting her grandparents’ romance, and victory over Alzheimer’s. Celebrities (i.e. Pat Robertson) endorsed it and/or Bright Light Ministry. At 20, she sang for President Bush. In dramatic programs for all ages, she speaks, acts,sings and entertainingly inspires. Now, she is writing books for teens (Catching Faith Stealers in the Act). Visit www.brightlightministry.com.
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