As we celebrate another great American holiday today I am also reminded that in just a few months our family will celebrate our silver anniversary of living here. Wow! Really? Twenty five years have crept on by?
I often regret not having done a consistent journal; I have several short ones from different travels but these do not reflect my awesome experiences of twenty five years. When I mention to my husband that I wish I had taken good notes so I could write a book, he optimistically says “it is not to late.”
Today we celebrate this country’s freedom from dependence upon another country. For each day that I have been blessed to live here, I also have enjoyed this freedom. However, I ask myself: what have I been freed from? I certainly was not born in a place where we did not have religious freedom! Nevertheless, after having lived here I can think of many things that I probably would not be allowed to do at home that I can freely do here in this country. But freedom isn’t just about religion, it is about many aspects of life and comes in small and large packages.
So what would I write in my book of memories of living this long in the land of the free? Who would I write about? There are thousands of people who left their homeland and have lived here longer than I have; if they have written, what did they write? Certainly a different experience from mine. I would write about my first three years in Cleveland, Ohio, then of to Port St John in Florida for eight years, next to Portland, Oregon for three years and now here I am in San Jose, California where I am spending my tenth year; will this be my final resting place on this earth…? Who knows? I know who does… only the One upon whom I am totally dependent.
If I attempt to guess where I might be living or would like to live next I might be in for a terrible disappointment; not that there is anything wrong with hopes or desires. My experiences here in this country have taught me to be dependent only on the One who has my very best interests at heart, and from this belief I have found that my everyday burdens are a lot lighter to carry. With this principle in mind I think of the verses in Jeremiah 23:7 and 9 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, and whose hope is the Lord.” and “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked;Who can know it?” How wonderful to celebrate the freedom we have from knowing Jesus! I cannot separate God from my freedom, it is because of Him that I can celebrate! When we leave Him out of the picture of our lives or the picture of our country we become dependent on man’s “desperately wicked” heart, and this dependence is called failure. I believe we can succeed only through remembering from Whom our freedom came. Jeremiah 9:23-24 “Thus says the Lord:Let not the wise man glory in His wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in His might, nor let the rich man glory in His riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord, exercising lovingkindness, judgement, and righteousness in the earth. For in these I delight, says the Lord.”
So what would I write in my book? Yes I would write about my accumulation of beautiful friends, the beautiful places I have lived, my sorrow and my joy but most of all I would join with the Bible Prophet whose name is Job. I believe this to be one of the most powerful teachings in Scripture: Job 12:7-10 “But now ask the beasts and they will teach you; and the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth;and it will teach you; and the fish of the sea will explain to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this; in whose hand is the life of every living thing; and the breath of all mankind.”
I want to thank God that I am free in Him simply because I am dependent on Him. Are you free? As we remember July 4th, let us remember the freedom Giver!