God wasn't the first thing on my mind on Monday, the Fourth of July. Truthfully, the only credit I can give myself is that I was thanking God for the three-day weekend.
It's not far-fetched to say that most Americans likely think of Independence Day as more of an outdoor show than an obvious reason to thank and honor God.
That's why articles like Rich Stearns' in the Huffington Post are kind of a divine challenge for me -- a reminder that peace and freedom are reasons to thank God, and that with Independence there is struggle, but also hope.
May South Sudan's first Independence Day be that of the latter. And may Rich's article challenge you as it has me.
The following is an excerpt from Rich Stearns' "Celebrating Independence and Honoring God -- Half a World Away" in the Huffington Post:
Last Monday, July 4, I was holding David, my 5-month-old grandson, and savoring his facial expressions as we watched his father grilling hamburgers, celebrating his first Independence Day.
In a few years, he will begin learning about courageous individuals who fought an oppressive government whose armies incited unspeakable violence for more than a decade. But the death and destruction that resulted could not suppress the freedom fighters' undying faith in democracy over tyranny, freedom over injustice. Their perseverance and faith demonstrated why ballots are stronger than bullets.
David's teachers won't be discussing names like Lexington and Concord, but rather Juba and Abyei.
Tomorrow (July 9), more than 8 million people in the new nation of the Republic of South Sudan will celebrate their first Independence Day. This is an historic moment, but it is only a beginning, not the end, of a long road for this new nation's people to live up to their potential. ...
Read the full article on HuffingtonPost.com