It is a quite morning. I sit on the porch of Granny’s house with a cup of coffee, my Bible and my Lord. It suddenly occurs to me that my soul has been yearning for this time with my Lord for the last couple of weeks and I have not even noticed. My flesh has been pushing aside the most treasured and valuable thing I love and my soul cannot wait any longer. With the cool breeze, the birds singing His praises, God challenges me with this thought:
“Listen to Your servant’s prayer and his petition, LORD my God, so that You may hear the cry and the prayer that Your servant prays before You today.” 1 Kings 8:28
What cry and prayer of my heart do I want the LORD my God to hear today? Today is a day of friends, family, and fireworks. A day of thanksgiving for our freedom.
Or is it?
God turns my eyes and heart to see the kind of day He sees today…
“There is a generation that curses its father and does not bless its mother. There is a generation that is pure in it’s own eyes, yet is not washed from its filth. There is a generation—how haughty its eyes and pretentious it looks. There is a generation whose teeth are swords, whose fangs are knives, devouring the oppressed from the land and the needy from among mankind.” Proverbs 30:11-15
Oh God forgive us. Forgive me. We have cursed our fathers and have not blessed our mothers. We believe our eyes our pure and yet they are filled with mud. We think our eyes sparkle like the fireworks in the sky and yet they are haughty and pretentious looking to the nations around us. Our mouths have devoured the oppressed and needy in America and around the world. This is the day God sees as we plan our picnics, our cookouts, and our parties with our friends and families. This is the prayer and petition God places on my heart to cry out to Him. Lord forgive us. Forgive me.
It would be easy for me to read these verses in the flesh and remain content to criticize and grumble about the state of our nation today. Yet, God has placed a burden on my heart to cry out on behalf of this generation, on behalf of my family, on behalf of my children, on behalf of my husband, on behalf of myself not to forget the cost He made in sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die for my sin and the sin of the world. It is Christ’s example of emptying Himself and being obedient to the point of death on the cross that the generations who went before us walked in so that we could be free (Philippians 2:7-8). It is the example of those who fought for our independence so long ago who are fighting today while we eat hot dogs, hamburgers, and watermelon so that I can sit freely on the front porch with a bible in my lap and cry out to God.
Today is Independence Day for America. Do I think God wanted to put a damper on the celebrations our family has planned today?
Do I think God wants me to remember the reality of the cost that was paid for me to able to have eternal life with Him.?
Do I think God wants to foster fervor in me to pray for my family, myself, and loved ones to increase in the wisdom and knowledge of Christ?
So as I join with thousands of others today in singing out “Let Freedom Ring”, my soul will also be singing out with cries and prayers to God as He has reminded me of the greatest sacrifice that was paid for our sins and the joy that comes from the greatest freedom we have in Christ Jesus. As I celebrate our freedom in America, I also pray for our nation, for my children, for my husband, and for myself as we are part of the generation who has turned their backs on God. Lord, help me; help us to face towards you and not away. Be our glory and the one who lifts our heads. (Psalms 3:3)