For purple mountain majesties, above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed his grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood, from sea to shining sea!
- First verse of America the Beautiful, lyrics by Katharine Lee Bates
Those wonderful words were written as part of a poem in 1893 which would become a popular American patriotic song two years later. Shown is just the first of seven verses which are devoted to the beauty and majesty that God gave us with our beloved United States of America. Katharine Bates did such a wonderful job those many years ago of depicting our land and I have always believed up until now that she is truly blessed by God for being a nation under God. Sadly, today I am afraid that it is rapidly becoming a nation that defies God as much as it supports His purpose for us and it begs the question which I ask in the title. Each of us needs to think about it, for it is important and how we feel and act in response has everything to do with what the future lies for America. Believe it or not, God is always in control, He just allows us every opportunity to prove we are worthy until he decides to look away.
Now it is unquestionably true that God loves all of us since we are all His creation, molded in His image and given the free choice to choose whether we will live as He wishes or cave to temporary earthly standards and moral and social codes that can blow away as fast as the wind gives them to us. But I think it is clearly the case that if we as a society turn our back on Him, God will not likely shed His grace on our nation when it turns its back on Him. Now that doesn’t mean that those of us who do live by His word, and try as hard as we can to stick to His word, despite our mortal limitations, won’t ultimately receive His grace but it won’t be found in the society where we live. It will come in the next life, where a future of either Light and Life or Darkness and Death await each of us, depending on the course we choose. So, what can we do?
Well, if we believe and do our utmost to live by faith, it is incumbent on us to get involved, to refuse to be silent and speak up for God whenever it is necessary. But before we do, we need to think things through carefully, pray to Him for guidance and ask Him to give us discernment to see through the fog and smoke that some try and use to cover up the true issues. When we do it this way, we will clearly see the truth, have the strength to go forth and stand for Him wherever it may be necessary. It could be in a social gathering, in a business meeting, in our church or even at a political event, but wherever we feel in our heart the need to act, with the preparation properly made, we can make a huge difference. Remember, there are many more followers than leaders out there today and many leaders are often led by beliefs that haven’t taken into account what God wants of us. So, we can make a huge difference when we speak up and stand for Him and don’t be surprised if others will listen. Many are looking for inspiration and we can represent that through God if our cause is right.
It’s not too late to maintain God’s trust in our nation, but He needs our involvement. Are we up for the challenge? That’s a decision that each of us must individually make, but make no mistake about it, he is likely losing patience with our silence.
Dear Lord, we thank you for your grace and love and we ask that you give us the strength and courage to stand for you in a way that you would find pleasing. Help us to make sure that our great land continues to receive, and deserve, your wonderful grace. Amen.