Saturday night, we sat at the end of our driveway. It had been a wonderful day with friends and family. We planned to end the night with a bang and light up some sparklers and a little waterfall type firework. Afterward, we sat down in the driveway and listened to the fireworks going off all around us. Every now and then we caught a glimpse of the beautiful lights in the sky but mostly we just heard the noise.
In that moment, I thought about the people around the world. Sitting in their home, holding their children, listening to a similar noise. Only, they aren’t watching in excitement. They are terrified. At any moment, life could be taken away because that noise is not the sound of those celebrating freedom. It’s the sound of those fighting for it. For them, it’s not just an annoying night of loud noises that scare their dog. It’s every night. It keeps them awake. It keeps their children awake. It scares them.
As I thought about how scary that must be, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. Grateful for this country, for our freedom, for God’s grace and love. Grateful that God chose to place me here, in the United States. Where we don’t have to fall asleep to the sounds of war around us. We have the right to worship God in our church and in our home. Where the majority of us bring in over $30,000 per household, making us among the top 10% wealthiest population in the world. Let that soak in. We are blessed.
Our nation, our world is changing quickly. It’s easy to get swept up in the chaos and controversy going on around us. To grumble and complain about our “tough life”. To take for granted all that we have when we should be giving thanks to God for allowing us the privilege to be here.
As we sat in the driveway that night, overwhelmed, all we could do was pray. We joined hands and prayed for those other nations. For the men, women and children in other countries fighting to have even a glimpse of the life we have here in America and we thanked God for our blessings. For the safety and comfort of our country, for our freedom.
God Bless America