Life’s Lessons by Helen Guilford

Happy Birthday, America!

Fireworks displays have already been in progress even as I sit down to write this column wishing our great land a happy birthday. More are scheduled for tonight; some for tomorrow night and even a few hanging on until the weekend.

But even as we make our own plans for the Fourth of July celebration let’s take time to remember those who have served and are serving in our homeland and around the world to assure the freedom we enjoy.

Our freedoms are many and spread across nearly every aspect of life. Yet, freedom is not free. It was bought originally at great price and continues to be purchased daily as young men and women step forward to serve our country

Go back to our national anthem and bring to mind as its author did the scenes, sounds and scents of battle.

“The rockets’ red glare, bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.” When morning came, the night’s battle abated somewhat and America’s flag was still in place.

After these many years, our flag still flies high. I hope you are one of those who still gets choked up at the sight of the stars and stripes marching in parades whether in the hands of today’s youth or in the understanding, tender and strong arms of veterans of yesterday’s wars.

Oh, I don’t agree with many things being done en masse right now. The separating of families trying to cross the border? Horrifying and intolerable! What ever became of the adage that the United States was the melting pot of the world? Where any and all were welcome?

But with all its flaws, disagreements and violent demonstrations, whether at the hands of one person or a mob, it’s still the safest nation in the world; it’s still “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” Or, at least that’s my opinion.

Because of the freedom won and secured so many years ago, we can still safely worship in the church or other location of our own choosing. Though that’s just one of our freedoms, it is very important to many in our land.

Take time from your Independence Day celebration to give thanks for the United States of America. Wish her a happy birthday.

Then, while you’re giving thanks, also remember this is all in God’s great plan for us.

Though we don’t understand, God can and will take the “bad things” of our lives and turn them into good as He works out His plan for your life and mine. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Ultimately, we must thank Jesus for going to the cross to pay the debt for our sin. He did, indeed, set us free. Our only responsibility is to accept Him and what He has done for us.

So, as we say Happy Birthday, America, let us also say thank you, Jesus.

Happy Birthday, America!