Freedom Isn't Free
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Growing up, we had a traditional, black-domed Weber Grill. Helping my parents stack the charcoal in a perfect pyramid, lighting the coal, and waiting until it reached optimal cooking temperature is a pleasant memory of my childhood. I can almost smell it as I write these words.
We grilled it all: chicken, hot dogs, sausages, steaks, burgers—and, always, corn on the cob. What a treat it felt like when dinner was being prepared on that grill.
After my husband and I got married, we decided we wanted to be the kind of people that grilled. Once we got our grill, I was quickly reminded how childhood memories often leave out essential details of the process and only leave space for the parts that evoke emotion. In other words, it was quite the learning curve getting that thing set up for cooking.
We watched YouTube videos and read blogs trying to learn the tricks of the charcoal grill. Thankfully, my husband is a patient and determined man.
During our novice grilling experience, we longed for a time when we weren’t relying on videos and a how-to from leading experts. We waited in the process patiently for the day when we could fire up the grill with our own understanding and experience and enjoy the fruit of our labor with a chargrilled burger.
So often, we treat Independence Day like we did with my altered-childhood grilling memories—only leaving space for the enjoyable parts. In reality, years of sacrifice, loss, and fear filled our Founding Fathers as they yearned for independence from a tyrannical king. They wanted a better life for themselves and for generations to come.
On Independence Day, I like to remind myself of all it took to establish our freedom, not just the happy feelings brought by the smell of something cooking on the charcoal grill; fireworks; and red, white, and blue everything. But, instead, the sacrifice, pain, and longing for a better life that our Founding Fathers endured. And when I think of sacrifice and a better life, I can’t help but think of the ultimate sacrifice that was made for you and me some 2,000 years ago!
Jesus is no stranger to sacrifice for the masses. He left heaven, where He was seated at the right hand of the Father, to be born to a virgin, out of wedlock, in what was likely a cold, damp cave. He was stripped of every luxury and right warranted to Him as the Son of God. He put on human flesh to walk as a boy into manhood—ultimately, giving up His life to save God’s people. He was made fun of, misunderstood, called names, wrongly accused, arrested, and crucified for sins He never committed.
As our independence from England afforded us freedom here on earth, trusting in Jesus as your Lord and Savior provides you ultimate freedom. John 8:36 says, "So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free (NLT)." Thank you, Jesus, for setting us free from our sins and for the promise of eternal life with You!
As you enjoy burgers, fireworks, and spending time with loved ones on this Fourth of July, let’s lift our voices up in a prayer of thanksgiving—because freedom isn’t free!
Lord Jesus, we thank You for all that You’ve done for us. We know that true freedom is found in You, and it is because of this sacrifice You made that has allowed us to have a pretty great life here in the USA. Thank You for giving the young men and women of our country the strength, forethought, and vision for what this country could be. We ask that You guide our country’s leaders and Your people to serve one another the way You have served us! We pray blessings on our military today, who continue to defend and uphold the freedom we know and love. Please give them and their families the type of strength that can only come from You, Jesus. Help us never forget the sacrifices made for true freedom. Amen.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
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