Happy Fourth of July Everyone!
However, we are at times guilty of seeing history through either rose colored glasses or just plain dirty ones that blur an accurate depiction of what we are looking at. It was not a simple “we declare our independence” and then everything was peachy. It took some time (years) from the declaration of our independence to the point when the British occupation army left our shores. After they left, we were a fledgling country way in debt and dealing with the challenges of what follows being independent. The colonists still had to fight to put food on the table; protect their families from hostile tribes that were in turn fighting for their lands; deal with the new bureaucracy, and mend relational fences with neighbors that may have sided with the British. The fact that we were seen as a baby nation not to be taken too seriously was evident by the events that led to the War of 1812.
As a country we have come a long way from where we began. Have we made mistakes? We only have to look at several parts of our history that give us, as a country, a big ugly black eye to know that we have made our fair share of them. Are we all we could be? I would say there is room for improvement. Are we moving forward or backwards? That depends on who we ask and what subject we are talking about. Some of the advances in technology and medicine are mind boggling and are beyond what many of us saw in science fiction movies when we were kids. Yet, in other areas we have slipped and need to again gain traction to be where we once were.
This is not unlike our Christian walk. We declared our freedom from the oppression of sin and its consequences when we proclaimed our allegiance to Jesus Christ by proclaiming Him Lord and Savior of our lives. Such a declaration did not mean that our struggles were over. Our old life at times whispers like an old mistress “come back; remember how much fun we had”. At times when whispers do not work, the enemy tries to convince us that our freedom is in jeopardy or that we are not to be taken seriously. In the same manner, the citizens of a newly formed country called the USA still had battles to face after independence. We too struggle to put food on the table, protect our families and deal with a plethora of life’s complexities that at times threaten to drown us. We look at our lives in Christ and ask “have I made mistakes?” If you are anything like me the answer is a resounding “Yes!” If we ask “is there room for improve-ment?” again the answer is yes and our efforts for improvement will continue until we are at the feet of Jesus. In dealing with the question “are we moving forwards or backwards?”; at times our lives seem to be two steps forward and one step back but that does not mean Christ has or will give up on us. Paul wrote “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” ( Phil. 1:6, ESV).
As we celebrate our independence as a nation this month and we celebrate our independence from oppression of God’s enemies, let us be mindful that coming to Christ is the beginning of a life long journey toward becoming more Christ-like every day. Sometimes we make huge strides. Sometimes we advance ever so slightly. Sometimes we may falter and slide backwards a bit. When those moments of backward sliding may even develop into a full out fall on our face and get a nose bleed, let us remember we are not alone in this. One of the reasons the Holy spirit was sent was to empower us, accompany us and remind us of who we are in Him. We also have each other so when any of us stumbles, do not be afraid to reach out and say “help me”. I will be honored to help hold you so you won’t fall and pick you up if you do. Will you do the same for me?
Have a blessed July,