What life events will transpire from the time of the first twist of the toothpaste cap to the last squeeze? The mundane, often monotonous, the surprising, spontaneous, joyful, sad and sometimes hurtful things of life. Our stories are diverse but similar because of our common thread, the thread of human emotions. My story is your story. We’re in this together. Whether spoken or written, our stories are meant to be shared. It takes courage and vulnerability to do so. Like love, sharing involves risk. But also, like love, the risk is always worth it. I share my stories with you in mind.
Wikipedia says this regarding the rapid advancement of the United States in comparison to other countries: “The technological and industrial history of the United States describes the United States’ emergence as one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world. The availability of land and literate labor, the absence of a landed aristocracy, the prestige of entrepreneurship, the diversity of climate and large easily accessed upscale and literate markets all contributed to America’s rapid industrialization.”
Wikipedia goes on to describe a number of other very valid, logical, reasonable explanations for the rapid advancement of America. This is especially amazing considering the number of nations that have been in existence much longer.
Not surprisingly, one very important and, in fact (many believe), the most important factor is missing in the Wikipedia article. This is best described in Psalm 33:12, which reads,
“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord….”
This principle is still true for any nation today. Did arriving upon these shores somehow make the colonists that much smarter than their ancestors? Were the natives of our land destined for such rapid advancement? Were the combination of the factors listed in Wikipedia sufficient to account for such rapid growth minus the intervention and blessing of a Supreme Being? The answers to these questions depend, of course, on your particular beliefs about the existence of God and His intervention in man’s affairs. Surely though, even the most avowed atheist, being intellectually honest, would admit that such growth in a relatively short time is extremely unusual, highly unlikely and perhaps even impossible.
Let’s remember for a moment our spiritual heritage.
A brief flashback from our high school history class….. The Mayflower Compact, originally titled Agreement Between the Settlers of New Plymouth, was the first governing document of Plymouth Colony. It was written by the male passengers of the Mayflower, consisting of separatist Puritans, adventurers, and tradesmen. The Puritans were fleeing from religious persecution by King James I of England.
It was signed aboard ship on November 11, 1620 while the Mayflower was anchored in Provincetown Harbor within the hook at the northern tip of Cape Cod.
A brief excerpt of the modern version reads like this:
“IN THE NAME OF GOD, AMEN. We, whose names are underwritten…..by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith …Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a Voyage to plant the first Colony in the northern Parts of Virginia…..”
Their purpose was quite clear, “for the glory of God and advancement of the Christian faith.”
Fast forward to just a few years ago when President Barack Obama announced that America was not a Christian nation. An increasingly large number of Americans would agree as our country continues its drift away from our founding principles.
There is a spiritual battle raging for our country, our government, schools, churches and families.
The Gospel of Matthew speaks of a “the light of the world”, “a city set on a hill” and encourages (believers and nations alike) to “let your light shine before men that they may…..glorify your Father who is in heaven”. It seems (sadly) today that the United States could more accurately be described by the verses from 2 Timothy 4:3, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires.”
“….I will heal their land.”
We must not, especially in times of national turmoil forget the words 2 Chronicles 7:14, “My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
“the end of all things is at hand….” 1 Peter 4:7-11
We students of the Bible cannot help but see Scriptures such as 2 Peter 3:3-10 come alive as we experience the events of our day, “in the last days mockers will come with their mocking, following after their own lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all continues just as it was from the beginning of creation.” ….. But do not let this one fact escape your notice, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day. The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, in which the heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up.” With this in mind, we need to be intentional about how we use the time God has given us.
Prayer is the steering wheel, not the spare tire.
We need to tap into the power of prayer. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 encourages us to, “Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” Prayer restores our proper view of the Lord and deepens our relationship with Him. It should not be our last resort. The most effective battle position for a believer is on our knees – not in submission to man, but in reverence to an all-powerful God.
Let us keep in mind the words of 1 Timothy 2:1-3, especially as we approach this coming election day, “…I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,”