He Will Never Leave You – A Reflection On 9/11

He Will Never Leave You: A Reflection On 9/11
Dan Wilt

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. …The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deuteronomy 31:6,8

As I considered the 9/11 anniversary coming up this week, I began to be drawn again to this potent passage, spoken by the prophet Moses to his young friend, Joshua.

“He will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

Who do you know who never leaves? The mothers and fathers lost in the burning buildings and the destroyed planes of 9/11 left. Husbands and wives, friends and family – they left. They didn’t want to, but they did.

“He will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

The children who lost parents during 9/11, before they were born, were recently featured in a prominent magazine to tell their stories. To a child, they miss the parent they never knew. They wish they hadn’t left. But no matter how much wishing we do, hoping we do, even praying we do – people we care about leave us.

“He will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

Despite our best efforts as parents, we eventually leave our children, and they leave us, many times across the journey of life. I just recently said goodbye to both of my daughters as they went off to college. It’s not permanent, but it felt quite strange, like a new normal was encroaching on our tight-knit family. Not all leaving is bad, but it is hard, and distance challenges our very best dreams.

“He will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

Life is full of leavings, goings and moments where we feel lost and alone – even if the leaving is good and important.

“He will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

If 9/11 and it’s stories of challenge and hope remind us of anything, it is that there is ultimately only One who stays close, lives forever, and meets us everywhere we will ever be.

“He will never leave you, nor forsake you.”

It is a promise, made to you.


Sheltering Mercy and Endless Grace help us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation. Sheltering Mercy helps the reader pray Psalms 1-75; Endless Grace leads in prayer through Psalms 76-150.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. Each book contains 75 prayers drawn from the Book of Psalms, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning there. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

These artful, poetic, and classic devotional books are a perfect gift, and feature compelling stunning illustrations and hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms. Co-written with Ryan Whitaker Smith, Brazos Publishing.

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