Sunday, March 5, 2017

Nation Under God

“Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.” Exodus 18:21
I heard a speech this weekend that reminded me that I am truly blessed to live in such a great country. It is a place rich with history, abundant in sacrifice and full of both freedom and hope. We are living on the faith and courage of those before us, reaping the benefits of their harvest. But we are also building a bridge to the future with every decision we make, and truly with great power comes great responsibility. We must look to those behind us and know we hold their future in our hands. We must selflessly love one another as we love ourselves. ( Matthew 22:39).
The campaign trail to presidency is building and I am excited that there are more than one qualified candidates who want to see our nation achieve excellence. There have been many wonderful policies, statements and ideas discussed and swapped between different candidates over the last few weeks and I have great respect for those running their campaigns with integrity and hope for the future. I was fortunate to hear one of them just yesterday call us to cherish the country we live in and to protect its "specialness". (Senator Marco Rubio at Samford University's Yellowhammer Forum in Birmingham, Al).
There was something about the word "specialness" that took root in my heart. It is so easy to talk about what is wrong especially in my generation when jobs are scarce, God has been all but asked to leave and we can't clearly see the path before us, but we must also remember what was right. I think about leaders who prioritized our country's bills and declarations after God's word. I think about brave soldiers offering it all to defend that unique specialness America had found. I think about hard work, big dreams and possibilities. I think about people who stood for the right thing even when the wrong thing was easier. I think about the light that illuminates the dark. I think of how each man's actions touches so many others. I think about those who live their life with an intentionality to leave a legacy. And I think of those who laid down their own pride and ambition and stepped out of the way to let God move and work through them.
And then I think about another little phrase, "God among us." God dwelt as man in our earthly sphere because He is never done with us. He chases us with an everlasting love and open arms. He works in all things. And He wants to be involved in all things. He is running, not for office but for a seat much higher-the throne of our hearts.
I recently rediscovered the words commonly associated with immigration found on the Statue of Liberty. They come from a poem called, "The Colossus" by Emma Lazarus and they say:
"Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door."
I looked up individual worlds online and found when translated it has a bit of a different meaning. "Huddled" can also mean flock or drawing close. "Refuse" can mean mean worthless or thrown away. "Teeming" refers to something that is full or overflowing. "Tempest-tost" can be defined as pounded or hit repeatedly by storms and adversaries. "Lamp" is a reference to light or a source of spiritual inspiration. And "Golden Door" is thought to mean a beacon of promise.
When you put it all together is it sounds a little like this:
Come to Me all who are weary and burdened, draw near to Me My flock, who long to be free as well as those who feel worthless and lost among a sea of other people. Come to Me those who feel displaced or down and out; those who feel pounded repeatedly by storms and adversities. I am the light of the world, full of promise and hope for the future.
At first I was in awe of the significance of these subtle changes but then again I wasn't really surprised at all. Age to age, One Name stands. Jesus is at the center of it all and His hand on our nation is what makes us special. But we must earnestly seek Him and His will if we want to preserve and protect the rarity of our country's DNA. That great power and great responsibility lies on our shoulders. Our voice, if an echo of Christ, can make a difference in a lost world. We hold tomorrow in our hands today.
Ronald Reagan once said, "If we ever forget we are a nation under God, we will be a nation gone under." I hope we have not forgotten. I pray we still look to Him in all things. And I hope we decide matters of great importance with both our head and our heart. With integrity. With conviction. With character. With purity. With morality. And with honor.
Add your voice to the vote and make a difference!
-Only Hope

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