National holidays can provide a natural period for introspection. As we approach yet another celebration of our nation's independence, I think this year of the word insecurity. In the 1770’s when our forefathers fought for the freedom we celebrate today, they lived in a time of great tumult. Consider this: they faced an opponent far superior in wealth and military might; they knew starvation, harsh weather and disease; they lacked basic supplies in armament, clothing and supplies; and they did not always know who was truly for or against them. But in the midst of uncertainty, doubt and despair the trumpet call for liberty persisted. Men and women strove mightily to worship, speak, live and work upon the foundation of freedom. For that self-determination, insecure lives bled nobly; though pained, pilgrims refused to give up; trepidation clung to truth and the right to dispel tyranny.
Yesterday the stock market dropped over 220 points in the arms of insecurity—the highest unemployment rate (9.4%) in 26 years. The Labor Department reported that employers cut 467,000 jobs in June, on top of the322,000 jobs lost in May. Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan awake each morning unsure where an enemy committed to terror might attack them. North Korea fired off more missiles and behaves in an increasingly bellicose manner. Many wonder if the recent swine flu pandemic is the precursor to a global health disaster. Televisions display bizarre weather patterns as states battle prolonged drought, tornadoes and flooding. While our challenges are different in some ways then those of America's first citizens on July 4, 1776, they are also eerily familiar. Insecurity is not confined to one generation it is passed forward and without regard to race, position or creed.
Psalm 4:8—I will both lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, LORD, make me live in safety.
7:10—My shield is with God, who saves the upright in heart.
18:2—The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my mountain where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
So let us pause and reflect on the fourth of July. Let us be certain that while we face challenges, we are also uncommonly blessed. Unlike so many places where children wake up not knowing what they will eat, we have the Bread of Life. Unlike so many unable to work, we serve a compassionate Father who promises to meet our need. Even in the midst of oppression which rages like some uncontrolled forest fire, we have a future through Jesus that is permanent and safe. We are able to worship God. We are adorned with hope and mostly able to sleep in the peace that surpasses understanding. In the soil of insecurity, our roots remain fed by grace. Don’t let the times fool you and don’t fool with the times—stay secure in Jesus. Happy Fourth of July!
What a man believes may be ascertained, not from his creed, but from the assumptions on which he habitually acts.—George Bernard Shaw, Irish Dramatist, 1856-1950
©2009 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)