A special thank you to Faith Richmond Gremillion for being our guest writer for Take a Turn Tuesday!
Thankful Hearts: Specific Blessings
Today I am thankful for…FREEDOM!
Read Scripture: Exodus 14:29 “But the children of Israel had walked on dry ground in the midst of the sea, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left.”
What freedoms are you most thankful for...? American freedom? Spiritual freedom? Emotional freedom? Freedom of sickness? Financial freedom? As I thought about this specific blessing, I wasn’t sure where to start, but as I became quiet and reflective I realized can’t begin to understand the self-less sacrifices of the word FREEDOM as it relates to the military. As the celebrations of Veteran’s Day come to a close, we are reminded of the bravery, self-less acts of heroism and the courage that allows us all the freedoms we share today. If you are a veteran or have family members who have served or are serving in our great military, thank you! With that being said, think of the parting of the Red Sea and the account of the Israelites fleeing the Egyptians in their life or death moment. God was there, manifested through Moses, their leader, and through the waters of the Red Sea. My thoughts immediately jumped to the LIVING WATER and everything it embodies: baptism, renewal, and cleansing, eternal life. Through the Israelites’ freedom of faith they lived to see another day and lived to see their enemies defeated. Re-read Exodus 14:29. Those words gave my mind a picture of God’s protecting wall of freedom. There was a WALL of water on their right and a WALL of water on their left. He, God the Father, was on their right and on their left! Holding back all of the things that could, would and should be destroying them as they journey to the other bank. Think about that a minute! God is there, watching us to walk through our lives, longing to help protect, guide, provide and reward us just as He helped the Israelites. They experienced His protection as they walked on the dry ground of the Red Sea. Yes, their enemies were in hot pursuit, just as ours are watching our every move, ready to maximize and capitalize on our weaknesses; but all the while God is there...ready to stand firm against our enemies, hold back the things that take us further from him.
If we focus our eyes on Him, the bank is just in sight and our reward is eternal life. I commented on Madelaine’s post yesterday about my closet. I love when my life is rolling along, no major upsets, calmness and serenity in every corner, but that is not an everyday reality. I am a busy girl just like you! My closet is so indicative of my life. If it is neat, clean and orderly, I’m pretty much on top of my game. Since the 1st of October, it looks like a bomb went off in there. I have to literally walk over things to get to the back of my closet to… you guessed it, my “prayer wall”. Isn’t that ironic? Just like the Israelites, the bank is in sight, but I can’t get there easily! The satire of this post today hits home for me! I had NO idea where the subject of FREEDOM would correlate to my life and somehow it is the most fitting for my present moment. The ‘busyness’ of life and the pursuit of doing too much keeps me from walking on dry ground (floor of my closet) to my promised land (my Prayer Wall). How I need for the “LIVING WATER WALLS” to be on my right and on my left to help me continue to build my FREEDOM OF FAITH, to nurture my personal relationship with God our Father! What is impeding your journey to spiritual freedom? Over the weekend, I watched a documentary on Fox about Warriors of Freedom. These seasoned soldiers had a sobering, round table discussion about assimilating from combat back into civilian life. Do you know what the #1 truth they each agreed on? They said “Combat is easy. It is black and white. Good vs. Evil.” What they shared was the most difficult task to complete was the day to day activities of civilian life! The tasks that keep you occupied but not focused. WOW! Those words were out of the mouths of some of the bravest men in our armed forces. Exercise your rights of FREEDOM, build your relationship with our Father and focus your journey’s mission and get to the bank on the other side! I’m on my way to clean up my closet!
Further Readings: Psalm 5:11, Psalm 66:5-12, Psalm 126:1-6; Nehemiah 8:5-10, Galatians 5:1, 2 Corinthians 4:8-9, John 10: 28-30
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you for allowing us the privilege to experience freedom as citizens of this great country. Just as you guided the Israelites to the Promised Land, guide our leaders, guide our hearts and help us to fall back on to your loving arms and stand firm under your protection and strength. Father as we struggle with the busyness of our lives help us to reflect on all of the many blessing you have given to us, remind of us Your power and might, help us to focus our thoughts, our words and our hearts on You. I pray protection over our military, their families and our country. Father we know You are the one and only true God, the Light of the World and the giver of all freedoms. I ask you to instill in us a calm spirit, a grateful heart and let our mission of freedom be to share your love with others. Amen.