I sat down here to post my thoughts on John 18. I have a lot to say about that chapter. The events in John 18 truly helped me to choose a path that led me to a place of freedom from bitterness against a few people in my life who have betrayed me. I promise I will get around to posting that….some of you reading this walked beside me during those times, and I was so blessed to have had such an incredible support system that helped me choose forgiveness……but that will have to wait….
Right now I am almost trembling from embarrassment. It was a normal morning of checking my email. Checking weather forecasts. Responding to Facebook requests…which sometimes turns into a mindless journey into the world of other people’s lives doesn’t it? Honestly sometimes Facebook is really TOO much information for me. But this morning a simple Facebook status stopped me in my tracks and sent me on another journey on the world wide web… (my computer time was supposed to be a short 10 minutes….does anyone else have this problem?…tens minutes turns into two hours?)
The status update was one of those copy and paste ones that I usually don’t even read…but this one was intriguing. It was the status of my sister-in-law’s college roommate, Rachel (crazy how Facebook so intimately connects us to the thoughts of someone we have only met in person a couple of times!)
Can’t believe the news coverage being given to a spoiled 20-something
year old. Here are a few 20 year-olds worth knowing about: Justin
Allen, 23; Brett Linley, 29; Matthew Weikert, 29; Justus Bartett, 27;
Dave Santos, 21; Chase Stanley, 21; Jesse Reed, 26; Matthew John…son,
21; Zachary Fisher, 24; Brandon King, 23; Christopher Goeke, 23;
Sheldon Tate, 27. These men gave their lives for you this week. Lindsey
Literally I felt tears welling up in my eyes. Seriously? That many twenty year olds? The age of my sweet brother-in-law who just graduated college and has his sights set on a great career in veterinarian medicine. Not much older than my handsome nephew who will soon turn 16 and is anxious to drive himself into his very bright future.
So I went on an internet search to see if this were true. I was awe-struck (and I’m sooo embarrassed that I had no idea of these numbers) with what I found. If the website I found is correct I counted over 30 twenty year olds in the military who have lost their lives just in the month of July of 2010.
This morning’s ‘stumbling across’ Rachel’s status was no accident. You see, since the July 4th weekend, I have felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to spend more time in diligent prayer for my country and those families who are sacrificing so much for me to enjoy the cozy freedom I call my life.
The night before July 4th I couldn’t go to sleep. Those who know me know that I usually fall asleep within seconds of my head hitting the pillow. But not on the evening of July 3rd. I crawled out of bed and I pulled out my trusty laptop. Since my in-law’s farm has no internet connection, I was not able to pass the time surfing the net.
Instead I began browsing through the Bible program that my Dad gave me a while back. I ‘stumbled’ across letters of Abigail and John Adams. I had read bits and pieces about their lives and relationship. However, reading their personal letters to each other during the foundation of our great nation sent chills up my spine. I found myself reading into the wee hours of the morning.
The next day, July 4th, the words from those letters resonated through my head and all I could do was say, “Thank you Lord that you have given me the great privilege of living in this amazing nation where so many have suffered for me to have the freedoms that I have.” Truly, I had never celebrated July 4th with more genuine gratitude and humbleness than I did this year.
Just yesterday I found a documentary video at the library about Abigail and John Adams and my husband and I stayed up late last night watching it. Though, it was a secular video and much of the details of their belief in God and faith in Jesus Christ were left out, I was moved to a point of indescribable thankfulness for my life in this amazing country.
So, when I read Rachel’s status this morning, I knew it was no accident that I ‘stumbled’ across the words of someone who I don’t even know. I have no idea with whom that copy/paste status began, but I am very sure that the Holy Spirit led me to read those words. My heart was in desperate need of a good dose of reality. And the reality is…..I am blessed beyond measure to get to call the United States my home.
I am totally embarrassed to say that I really go through most days of my life taking all that I have for granted. I can go weeks or even months without thanking God for those who have sacrificed so much for me…someone that they didn’t even know.
So if you are feeling a bit sorry for yourself today….I have a two-part challenge for you….(1) read the letters of Abigail and John Adams and follow that up with (2) reading about and looking at pictures of the military personnel that have sacrificed their lives for you. I’m warning you….you are likely to feel a bit guilty for feeling sorry for yourself.
So Thank You. Thank you God for my life and the country I call home. And thank you to those who have sacrificed so that I could spend my July 4th weekend worshipping and celebrating in freedom…