It was on this day nine years ago when the terror began, and it lasted for 23 excruciating days before the killers were finally apprehended. "Still recovering from the terrorist attacks of 9/11, innocent people in the Washington D.C. area found themselves under siege once more-by an unseen, unknown, and seemingly unstoppable enemy." [Angie Cannon of U.S. News and World Report] We will never forget the pain, anger, and sadness that John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo injected into the lives of their victim's families and friends when they murdered at least 10 people and wounded even more with a stolen Bushmaster XM-15 semiautomatic .223 caliber rifle equipped with a reflex sight at ranges of between 50 and over 100 yards. Muhammad was executed by lethal injection on November 10, 2009, and Malvo was sentenced to 6 consecutive life sentences without the possibility of parole. He could still be extradited to Alabama or Louisiana for prosecution stemming from crimes in those states as well.
I have never experienced the magnitude of pain and sorrow that these families did, and I am not sure how one goes about forgiving such hideous acts. I do know that forgiveness is a process, just like healing. I can't imagine how a human being could possibly process all the emotions that are involved with losing a loved one to murder. But I do know that Jesus Christ is a Master at helping people deal with such things. Jesus helps us sort out problems through our friends, family, and counselors. If you are dealing with an issue right now that involves you having to forgive someone, and you feel there is no way you will ever be able to do that, ask Jesus for help. Always remain open-minded to the paths and avenues through which He may lead you. If you are unable to forgive at this moment, don't beat yourself up over it. We are only human, and God understands our struggles. He created us, and He knows us even better than we know ourselves. Don't give up. With Jesus, there is always hope!
Romans 2:7 says, "To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, He will give eternal life."
Father, please wrap your loving arms around those who may need You most. Help us all learn how to forgive, just as You have forgiven us. In Jesus name, Amen.