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Barbara Walking in the Valley
A weekly column for those who live and walk in Silicon Valley

by Barbara Dahlgren

The Hope That Lies Within Us
Column for the week of September 30-October 6, 2001

The attack on our World Trade Center on September 11 left death, devastation, and debris. Yet in the midst of this turmoil the next morning our Congress, Republican and Democrat a like, stood on the steps of our nation's Capitol building and sang, "God Bless America!" I found this very moving.

In ancient times when Israel went into battle the Bible tells us they would send the choir and musicians in first. There they would be, marching ahead of everyone singing and praising God. (2 Chronicles 20:21) I must admit I always found this a little disconcerting since I do a little singing myself and help with our music ministry. I don't think God hates singing or just wanted to get rid of the musically inclined. No, rather I envision that their opponents would hear this music and singing and think, "What in the world do these people have to sing about? Don't they know they are in a battle?" Then perhaps the Israelites would hear the singing and think, "The battle belongs to the Lord! Our God is an awesome God! What a mighty God we serve!" And it would fill them with hope. When our Congress gathered together in unity to sing, "God Bless America" I think it gave our country hope. The message was "we may be down but don't count us out!"

Few things are sadder than a person without hope. Lack of hope produces helpless victims, unable to deal with the injustices of life. Without hope, it is hard to cope with the death of a loved one. (1 Thessalonians 4:13) Hopelessness can leave a person physically ill. (Proverbs 13:12)

Our nation was founded on hope. Originally people came here in hopes of a better life. And for centuries people have continued to flock here for the same reason. How unfortunate that this better way of life has caused some to despise and terrorize us.

Our nation was also founded on a relationship with God. Our currency reads "in God we trust." Our Pledge of Allegiance says, "one nation under God." Not that we should abuse those who have a different religious belief. We shouldn't. But nor should we deny the God of our founding fathers. The Bible has much to say about those who trust and hope in God. (Jeremiah 17:7, Lamentations 3:24, Romans 5:1-5, Psalm 31:24) It may be that our nation has forgotten God, but if we turn to Him, he will not forget us. People who didn't believe in prayer are down on their knees. We who are Christians should be ready and able to point the searching, wandering, and hurting to Christ for the hope that lies within us. (1 Peter 3:15) Would that God help us comfort people and let them know that Christ is that hope.

These are trying times. Romans 15:13 says, "Now may the God of hope fill you with all peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of His Holy Spirit!' And might I add, "May God bless America!"

©September 2001

Be sure to visit this page every week to read the next edition of Walking in the Valley. You can write to the author at bydahlgren@aol.com.



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