Tears don’t come easily for me. My indignation rises when I hear of godlessness and injustice, but do my deeply held convictions really grip my heart? So I was thrilled the other day when God granted me the gift of tears. I had just been thinking about the travesty of unborn babies being ripped apart for the convenience of their mothers and/or the insistence of family members and for the sake of abortionists’ greed in accordance with our society’s high value of sexual license. Then unexpectedly I found my tears mingling with the dishwater there at the sink, sobbing at the fate of those precious children! Thank you, Lord, for giving me tears!
Lord, please give me tears often to cry…
…for my brothers and sisters imprisoned and tortured for your sake.
…for women and children in slavery, exploited by cruel, greedy, and lustful men.
…for hearts so hard as to do these things to others.
…for unborn children bring torn limb from limb every day.
…for people longing for the freedom I take for granted.
…for my self-centeredness.
…for the cold, hungry and homeless.
…for those who have never known the true love of a mother, or father.
…for the poverty of my love for you and others.
…for those existing day by day with no hope of heaven to give meaning to their lives.
Your kingdom come
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!
A few days ago I watched what might be my first-ever Memorial Day parade. It was pretty solemn at first as the reminders of our heroes passed by—both those who gave their lives for our freedom and those who lived on. Then the bands came with stirring anthems of the “home of the brave,” “land of the noble free.” Truly these are beautiful sentiments, but are we brave? Are we noble? Do we really value our freedom? Are we willing to be the kind of people who have the courage and determination to maintain our freedom?
We are still watching the DVD series on World War II, and I continue to be amazed at the commitment of the commitment of those who fought to maintain and regain freedom for their own loved ones and others. Would we be willing to pay the cost today, or would we rather give in and be ruled by tyrants?
God have mercy on our nation! Give us courage and commitment to believe, support, and do what is right and true!
I’ve just finished reading Madeleine L’Engle’s book, “The Young Unicorns” (copyright1968)—my first venture into her writings but definitely not the last.
Toward the end of this book, a man who is trying to take over the city by force says, “People don’t want freedom. Don’t you realize that? Can you not tell? People want serenity, safety. Freedom is too dangerous. You don’t want freedom, Robert….My trusty young followers have found something better than freedom, have you not, my lads?
“Young people today in applying for jobs are not looking for challenge….What the young man or woman applying for a job today is looking for is fringe benefits, a secure retirement policy… adequate, nay more than adequate hospital and medical insurance…
“Man is not capable of freedom. If we are given freedom we will destroy ourselves…The only way we can be freed from the slavery of freedom is by relinquishing freedom…in a reasonable and pleasurable way.”
Does this sound familiar?
Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!
Night is falling and the power is off, but I can draft a blog post as long as the computer battery holds up. And last week the water was off for a couple of days . At times like these I give thanks for things I normally take for granted, including also Internet, food, air, health, freedom, and the list goes on.
I can manage without some of these things for a short time, especially when it’s temporary. I’ve been very blessed to have lived in security and freedom, unlike so many who see no end to daily suffering from physical pain, deprivation, or oppression.
But—here’s the part I hate to think about, much less put in writing—how will I handle it if the time comes when it’s me in that position? Jesus warned us of coming suffering and persecution, and why should I be exempt? When that time comes, will I fall apart, or will I live in calm trust in the One who controls all? The words of this song challenge me:
Am I a soldier of the cross, a follower of the Lamb,
And shall I fear to own his cause or blush to speak His name?
Must I be carried to the skies on flowery beds of ease
While others fought to win the prize and sailed through bloody seas?
Sure I must fight if I would reign; Increase my courage, Lord.
I’ll bear the toil, endure the pain, supported by Thy word.
Last week I saw a movie about the Revolutionary War–a gory and powerful reminder of the cost of our freedom as citizens of what we still believe to be the greatest country on earth. This was underlined by the statement heard in church yesterday, “Freedom isn’t free.” I’m afraid that sometimes I consider freedom to be my entitlement, the default mode. But no—someone always needs to pay the cost. So today I, along with my fellow Americans, honor those who have paid the ultimate price so we can enjoy the freedoms we regrettably take for granted. Are we living to our full capacity and caring for this inheritance of ours?
But on a deeper level, I want to honor the One who gave His life to provide freedom from sin and its consequences and to make me a citizen of the eternal Heavenly Kingdom. How often do I thank Him for it? Am I living to my full capacity?
…Because the sinless Savior died, my sinful soul is counted free;
For God the Just is satisfied to look on Him and pardon me…
(from a song by Charitie L. Bancroft & Vikki Cook)