Regardless the hype of this day and all the dedications, remembrances and ceremonies, one fact fact comes through all the stuff: many suffered so long ago. And in the course of punishing al-Qaeda, many more suffered. Those included not just our service personnel and our coalition forces, but the non-combatants who got in the way. Now, even with a constitution guaranteeing some liberties, including a tri-branch ruling democratic republic, similar to ours, Afghanistan is ruled by the Taliban, or "Students", "Learners". They need their rivals, al-Qaeda to enforce and defeat the ISIS-K, yet another group with another agenda. I am sorry to digress into this history/political lesson. But it is one we do not learn well.
What we were initially told by our political leadership 20 years ago was that we were after al-Qaeda and their masterminds who perpetrated the attacks of pre-9/11 and 9/11 itself. Uprooting a few plants unearths a plant so huge with roots so deep that it took at least a decade to get at one of the key--if not the key--people who started and continued this movement. But you take out one head of the hydra and two grow back. Our track record for hydra killing was short-sighted, but in the midst of all this, we were told that these people hate our way of life, our Western way of thinking and our incredible myopia.
God has something to say about this, and His long game--longer than any political/military groups or movements is quite simple. We hear it from the voice of St. Paul in his second letter to Timothy, his fellow pastor:
2 First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.
While God desires all to be saved, not all will be saved because they will reject God's free gift of salvation through Christ Jesus. All we can do is pray to the Lord of the harvest to send workers to bring the Good News to some hardened hearts so that the Word, being worked into the hearts of many may bear fruit. God's grand conspiracy to save the world trumps all other conspiracies, because God is love and He shows His love in sending His Son to pay for the world's sin and bringing salvation and forgiveness.
We pray to You, O Lord, that You would reach to our enemies--not just political ones, but ones who hear the lies of satan and wish them to be destroyed. You will that all would be saved and come to believe in Your Son Jesus and His sacrificial death and resurrection for all the world. Help us to pray for these lost souls so that they may come to faith, believe by the Spirit's power and have the joy of those who see Your Love in Your Son. In Jesus' name, amen.