Grateful not proud

Our country is the world, our countrymen are all mankind.  We love the land of our nativity, only as we love all other lands.  The interests, rights, and liberties of American citizens are no more dear to us than are those of the whole human race.  Hence we can allow no appeal to patriotism, to revenge any national insult or injury.  ~William Lloyd Garrison, Declaration of Sentiments, Boston Peace Conference, 1838

I am beyond grateful to live in a country where I am free.

Free to worship my God without fear of persecution.

Free to raise my children according to what my husband and I believe.

Free to be a woman who can pursue higher education and have an identity separate from my husband.

Free.

I am grateful that God chose America to be my homeland.  But, pride of country is a difficult concept for me.  It has always been uncomfortable for me yet not an opinion I feel very comfortable sharing.

We live in a part of the country rich in American history.  My political views swing farther left than anyone else in my circle of friends yet I remain fairly unconcerned with national rhetoric.

I don’t believe in the American dream.

I believe in God’s dream for every person.  Regardless of where they live.

How many of us are embracing the comforts of suburban America while we turn a deaf ear to inner cities in need of the gospel?  How many of us are so settled in the United States that we have never once given serious thought to the possibility that God may call us to live in another country?  How often are we willing to give a check to someone else as long as we don’t have to go to the tough places in the world ourselves?  How many of us parents are praying that God will raise up our children to leave our homes and go overseas, even if that means they may never come back?  And how many of us are devoting our lives to taking the gospel to people in hostile regions around the world where Christians are not welcomed?  Certainly few of us would be so bold as to say “we would just as soon God annihilate all those people and send them to hell” but if we do not take the gospel to them, isn’t that where they will go?  Meanwhile, Jesus commands us to go.  He has created each of us to take the gospel to the ends of the earth, and I propose that anything less than radical devotion to this purpose is unbiblical Christianity”. ~Radical by David Platt

Today, as we grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and ate red, white and blue strawberries, we bowed heads, held hands and thanked God for the motley crew of people gathered to celebrate freedom in our home.

A woman freed from drug addiction, one step closer to being reunited with her son and building a relationship with our shared daughter.

Another woman freed from a relationship fueled by insecurity, blooming where God has planted her.

And, this woman, freed from the chains of her past and thankful for every crazy moment of this beautiful life.

Heavy on my heart are those around the world not afforded the same rights, luxuries and opportunities that we easily take for granted.

Children, in the US and other countries, that will go to bed hungry, no mama to tuck them in.  Some with no bed to sleep in, some confined to a bed for the duration of their life because they were born different in a country that views difference as a curse.  Children being kidnapped to be given as sacrifice to bring prosperity to their village. Children, used and abused by those supposed to love and protect.

People that face imprisonment and even death for proclaiming the name of the God I serve.  People that live where a Bible is considered contraband, while I live in a home with Bibles of most translations.

My fear of becoming overly patriotic is that it will detract from the reason I am here, a resident of earth, not just America.  To proclaim the gospel to all nations, to live out a life of unbridled faith, obedience and to be the love of Christ to those I come in contact with.

I feel unworthy of the gift that is being born in America.  But, I also know that it was God’s design for me to be born in a tiny apartment in Langley Park, Maryland two weeks after my due date on a cold day in January.  He knows all and all He desires from me is gratitude and the willingness to serve where He has planted me and wherever He chooses to plant me in the future.

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

And, that’s why I’m grateful not proud to be an American.

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Comments

  1. Incredible post……you write so well what I stammer to communicate to people with blank stares.  I appreciate your rawness and love for our Savior.  Grateful for the nation we live in (and I am grateful for everyone who has fought, fights and will fight to keep this nation free), but in awe of the One orchestrating everything in my life……..

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