The 4th of July is my 2nd favorite holiday. Why? Because it is the one day of the year that everyone is doing the American thing. It is the one day a year that we specifically set aside and reflect upon how great our country really is. About 4 years ago, I sat and watched the fireworks for the first time in Idaho Falls and contemplated my life and all that had happened that year, and all that would happen the following year. So, since that year I have made it a tradition to reflect on my life on the 4th.
I always have these plans that I think will happen, and a lot of the time they do, but the Lord really puts some twists and turns in there as well. I am never with the people I think I will be with, or doing what I think I will be doing. Life is just sorta that way. Let's be honest most of the time life is great, but there are those times when it really just full on SUCKS!! I really enjoy history and I thought of this quote from Thomas Paine.
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods; and it would be strange indeed if so celestial an article as FREEDOM should not be highly rated."
How true this is. Just like God had a hand in the battle for our freedom, so does the Lord have a hand in our life. Did our Father let them win the war right off? NO! Thousands died and many more suffered unimaginably through the harsh winters and sweltering summers. Hell is NOT easily conquered. It will do good to remember this throughout this year. Those things that we obtain too cheap we will esteem too lightly. This is the reasoning behind our trials and our sorrows. We must do this in order to appreciate the things which the Lord has in store for us.
I love the 4th of July and everything it stands for, and my heart goes out to those men who gave their lives for freedom.