“Be strong and of good courage.” Dt 31:6 NKJV
On the morning of September 11, 2001, United Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco was hijacked by terrorists who claimed to have a bomb. When they received telephone confirmation that other planes with terrorists on board had hit the twin towers of the World Trade Center, the passengers understood the hijackers’ intent. Todd Beamer, a thirty-two-year-old businessman, picked up a seat-back phone and reached Lisa Jefferson, a GTE supervisor. He told her that he and others were going to “jump on” a hijacker who was guarding the passengers in the rear. Beamer asked her to pray the Lord’s Prayer with him. He also made her promise to call his wife, Lisa, and tell her that he loved her and their two little boys. Dropping the phone after talking with Jefferson, Beamer said, “Jesus help me.” Then, after reciting Psalm 23, he said, “Are you guys ready? Okay, let’s roll.” Those were the unforgettable last words Beamer said before he and others rushed the hijackers. There were screams, then silence. That day brave civilians, complete strangers, rose up against impossible odds and tried to save the aircraft. In doing so, they made the ultimate sacrifice. United Flight 93 crashed into a large field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, killing all forty-four on board. Of the four hijacked planes that morning, theirs was the only one that failed to hit its target. Those heroes showed courage—at the highest level. Whatever you are facing today, be courageous, “for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”
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