America, I love you

Dear Friend,

I awoke on yesterday’s Independence Day with an overwhelming sense of gratitude for all God has given me, an American woman. He has answered our family’s prayers to “Give us this day our daily bread.” I believe he will do so tomorrow and for all our tomorrows.

Katharine Lee Bates’ magnificent and timeless words move me deeply:   

America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

Amid the frustrating uncertainty of the political and economic present, it is tempting to hold our collective breath and wait for a resolution on the world stage before we allow ourselves to exhale and resume a cheerful mindset again.

America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

I am more confident about our ability to effectively navigate our tomorrows than I am about how well we take charge of our happiness today.

Our future will always be scary — because it will always be invisible. Thus, the best of times tends to be enjoyed only in the past tense, in the rear-view mirror of memory.

How often have we recalled a past season (or decade!) and realized too late how we paid a dear and irreversible price of worry for what turned out to be unnecessary? Precious days of happiness were surrendered for what turned out to be – nothing.

We long for a do-over from those worrisome days—but we can’t have it. The worst did not happen, but we’d lived fretfully as if it would. Entire lives are sometimes wasted to the false god of fear — while the enemy of our soul laughs. Please don’t surrender the joy of this day that the Lord has made.

“If only we had known it would all work out,” we say later. But we never know in advance because we are not allowed to know. That is our Creator’s plan. What is uncertain to us is not uncertain to the Lord.

God loves us. And I believe He wants to love America—if we’ll have Him.

America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

Happy Independence Day, America!

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