Today marks the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in the US on September 11, 2001. It’s hard to think about that date without mental images of the destruction, grief, and loss that swept over America and the world following those tragic events. The loss of thousands of lives was compounded by the depth of loss felt corporately—a lost sense of security as a country. The sorrow of loss, personal and corporate, will always accompany the memory of the events of that day.

Those horrific events are not the only painful memories of September 11. It also marks the anniversary of my father-in-law’s death. Jim’s loss is felt deeply within our family and his circle of friends.

No matter what kind of sorrow we experience, there is only one real comfort—the mercy of God. David, in his own heartache, cried to his heavenly Father, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am in trouble; my eye wastes away with grief, yes, my soul and my body!” (Ps. 31:9). Only in the mercy of God can we find comfort for our pain and peace for our troubled hearts.

In all losses, we can turn to the true Shepherd, Jesus Christ, who alone can heal our brokenness and grief.

We have a Friend who’ll never leave,
Who’s closer than a brother;
He’s there to meet our deepest needs,
To comfort like no other. —Sper