Independence Day: A time to pray and turn

There has been something I have been pondering for quite some time. I sense you are thinking about the same. The divisive state of our country.  The visceral political division, the fact that most news is editorial opinion based on lies and half truths, the fact that people who have been friends for years have ended their friendships over these differences. We all have a lot of concerns about America, many of them are healed a little at the sight a young soldier in uniform opening a door for a senior citizen, or a young child helping someone across the street. These individual acts of kindness bolster my confidence that somewhere deep in the soul of America, the values that make us all Americans are still flickering.

But what concerns me are those who, for whatever reason, do not see that the sacrifice of those before us was made for the better gains we enjoy. A few years ago, I asked a group of children why we celebrate Independence Day.  By and large their answers were “so we can see fireworks” or “so we can have hamburgers from the grill.”  They did not even know what Independence Day meant.  Their guesses were anywhere from “celebrating God’s freedom” to “my dad has a day off from work.” Some of these children openly admitted they did not understand why they should stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag—seems like something silly to them.

Then there was the African American man who was upset with the wars in the Middle East. He told me it was better to abort these children than to let them grow up and force them to die in war.  I asked him how many abortions there were in the United States each year.  He didn’t know.  I told him there were over a million abortions a year and that during a three-year period there were 1,700 brave volunteer soldiers killed in Iraq. Another lady chimed in, “And that’s supposed to make me feel good?”  No, it’s not.  But it is supposed to demonstrate clearly the folly in denying a chance at life because kids are going to die anyway. Would he even understand that Planned Parenthood’s founder, Margaret Sanger, wanted to end the entire African American race?

I pray these are not representative of the majority of our country. I am reminded of how often the Israelites turned away from God and judgment was pronounced upon them.  Certainly, the condition of our nation is tied to the consequences of not adhering to God’s law. We must take these things more seriously, especially as Christians. The Lord said in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal there land.”  We do need to pray for our children and our nation. We need to seek the Lord’s face and as a nation turn from wicked ways. As we celebrate independence, let us pray and talk to others about returning to the ancient paths laid by those righteous people before us.

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Bill Wilson