Where Was God on 9/11?

Sometimes I wonder what it’s like to be God…have you?

If you are God, you witness the symphony of light from a billion galaxies as they soar through endless space.

If you are God, you are surrounded by an angelic choir and the voices of praise from every corner of the universe envelop your throne.

And if you are God, you are unceasingly barraged with the wailing and weeping of those in pain and loss. Not a moment goes by that isn’t laced with the sound of tragedy and death.

And ten years ago, there was a day when God witnessed 2,819 innocent lives brutally taken as the towers fell and our entire nation was hurled into a state of shock and disbelief.

What would it have been like to be God on that day?

If you were over the age of 6 or 7, you most likely remember where you were and what you were doing when the first reports of the terrorist attacks hit the airwaves, and after the initial distress tapered off, there were many who asked this question:

Where was God and what was He doing on that day?

Any “‘answer” to this question that comes from a finite and limited human being would be in the category of flawed opinion. It seems to me that if we have a question for God - especially one that involves such a weighty issue - we should let Him answer. So let’s listen to the words of the One who has graciously chosen to speak to us:

The LORD reigns forever, executing judgment from his throne. He will judge the world with justice
and rule the nations with fairness (Psalm 9:7-8).

So the initial answer to “where was God on 9/11?” is simple…He was where He is today 10 years later. He is on the Throne of heaven where He always has been and always will be. He is perfect, so it is impossible for Him to operate outside the parameters of justice and fairness.

But how is it “just” and “fair” when planes are used as weapons of war?

“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD.
“And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.
For just as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so my ways are higher than your ways
and my thoughts higher than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9).

In other words, in our limited perspective we take complicated scenarios and try to simplify them so we can try and make sense out of senseless violence. Or worse, in our arrogance we try and take a higher moral position than the God who is the source of all morality in the first place!

But what we should keep in mind is that for reasons known only to an infinite God, the acts of wicked men were allowed to fulfill some kind of purpose. This is one of the most difficult truths about God to wrap our heads and hearts around, but it remains a truth regardless of our understanding or agreement. God is God, and we are not. God is good…all the time…because that is His nature.

So rather than asking “where was God on 9/11/01,” perhaps a better question would be: “Where am I on 9/11/11?” Have I come to the realization that the world is a place of great beauty and love, and it is also the stronghold of unspeakable evil? And because of this reality, I have the highest calling and responsibility in the universe - which is to make disciples who make disciples.

The events that transpired ten years ago are some of the darkest days in the history of the United States. Let the dark memories of this great tragedy remind you of Jesus’ incredible promise:

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life” (John 8:12).

Our nation needs the “light that leads to life,” and you carry that light with you wherever you go. God is on His throne and His ways are as far above our ways as the heavens are above the earth. While you may think that the world is asking “where is God?” in times of tragedy, they are also asking “where are His followers when I need them???”

Will you be a first responder?

Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action

The 10th anniversary of 9/11 provides a unique opportunity to talk to your friends about their spiritual beliefs. Don’t let the chance to share the gospel in the midst of our nation’s remembrance of the dark and evil days that pervaded our land.

Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause

Pray: Sovereign God and Maker of Heaven and Earth, hear our plea for healing in our land. Comfort those who lost family and friends on 9/11, and use this anniversary to bring many people into Your family. Give me the eyes to see and the heart to respond when opportunities to share the gospel appear.

Read: 2 Corinthians 1:3-4. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Get: For more insights on why God allows evil in the world, check out the free article “Evil: Blame It on God?”

Lane Palmer serves as a writer for Dare 2 Share Ministries (D2S) in Arvada, Colorado, a ministry committed to energizing and equipping teenagers to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information about D2S, please visit

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