Compared to European history we are rowdy teenagers but compared to Middle Eastern history, the United States of America is a babe in arms. And yet by God’s own hand and human desire for freedom and justice, we are a free people under a system of laws designed to protect and defend human rights. We are not perfect and we are not always Godly, but God has not left us yet. More a stew than a melting pot, we are representative of all other nations in the world, all those with lengthier histories. From all people groups we have been united under God and the flag of the USA.

Today I am thankful to the men and women who have taken the oath, worn the uniform, and protected our country, our freedom against enemies both foreign and domestic, against great odds. Some have returned haunted by the battlefield, some physically wounded, and some in boxes covered in flags. Some have returned educated and trained to serve as civilians even leaders of the world. To these men and women I say: “Thank you for your service.”

Today I am thankful to be an American, recognizing that there divisions and wounds, troubles and sorrows, idolatry and rebellion in homes across the country, in the halls of government and even in my own heart. And so in thankfulness for this great country, the grandest on earth, I submit these wise words from scripture for all to consider:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV)