FaithZette

On 9/11, Even Amid Horrific Tragedy, God’s Hand Was Present

'Every anniversary is a reminder of the shortness of life,' yet larger picture 'causes us to reflect' on the Lord's love

Every September 11, Americans remember where they were when the nation suffered a history-altering terrorist attack.

With the 17th observation of 9/11 occurring tomorrow, the American Pastors Network (APN) is sharing the stories that show how God’s hand was indeed present that fateful day, even in the midst of incredible turmoil and tragedy.

Recently on the organization’s new weekly television program, “Stand in the Gap,” host and APN President Sam Rohrer hosted guest Dr. Steve Scheibner.

Almost unbelievably, Scheibner had been scheduled to co-pilot American Flight 11 on Sept. 11, 2001.

“The attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, left indelible marks on millions of people,” Rohrer said on the program.

“Most Americans remember the horror and shock of 9/11, and every anniversary is a reminder of the shortness of life. But the larger overall picture also causes us to reflect on the sovereignty and love of God — not only to all of us, but also to one man and his family and how their response to the event has touched and brought the Good News to millions,” he added.

“Over the course of that day and the days after 9/11, the nation shared the collective violation of having our security shattered,” Rohrer said. “Immediately, most people knew they needed God. Church attendance surged, prayer meetings sprang up, and people for a while forgot their petty differences and became united as Americans.”

“But others wondered where God was in this tragedy and ran from Him. Yet we know from so many who have experienced great hardship and loss that even in the midst of tragedy — and this tragedy in particular — if we look, we can find the fingerprints of a loving God reaching out in mercy to all, welcoming them to come to Him in repentance.”

First Officer Scheibner is a former pastor and pilot for American Airlines.

Through an incredible set of circumstances, he was bumped from Flight 11 — which was the first to be hijacked on September 11.

That plane ultimately flew into the first tower in lower Manhattan.

Related: Young American Patriots Ensure We Never Forget About 9/11

“The response of one man — pilot, father, husband and pastor Steve Scheibner — and his remembrance of the evil of 9/11 and his humble response to the reality that his pilot friend took his place in the cockpit of an American airlines jet and died that day in his place is a lesson for us all,” Rohrer told LifeZette on Monday, September 10.

“As we see how one man took the place of a friend, the real lesson is how Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago, because of His great love for us, died on the cross in our place, so that if we trust in Him, any person, from any nation, from anywhere in the world can live and have eternal life,” he also said.

“We can turn the remembrance of tragedy into great hope for the future.”

“That hope and that reality cannot only change every life and bring peace with God, but can bring peace among all Americans and turn the remembrance of tragedy into great hope for the future,” Rohrer also told LifeZette. “May our nation that is so divided today look to God and His fingerprints of mercy manifested not only during 9/11 but to our nation for the past 200-plus years.”

You can watch Scheibner’s video story here and also view recent “Stand in the Gap” TV programs on 9/11.

The American Pastors Network is a national network of pastors with constitutional and biblical teachings that discuss today’s pressing issues.

Sam Rohrer was a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for 18 years — and is co-host of the daily “Stand in the Gap Today” national radio program on 425 stations.