I met a student last year from another continent. He was here because of an opportunity he had been given to study at a college in America. I asked him what kinds of things he missed about his home country. Although there was the typical list of things, food, family and friends, he was quick to tell me how thankful he was for this country. He said he had noticed a lot of people complaining about America, and he couldn’t understand why.
His face lit up as he described to me the opportunity for education, advancement and the fulfillment of his lifelong dreams that could not have happened in his home country. He wasn’t bashing his home country but professing a deep gratitude for the opportunities to pursue what our forefathers described as “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
I left our conversation, convicted. I was one of those people that frequently complained about America and took for granted the opportunities I have had here that I never would have had in most other nations. I needed his perspective to stir thankfulness in me for the freedom and opportunities we have, and to pray more fervently for the preservation of freedom.
There are so many things that deeply hurt my heart about the path our nation has chosen. But there are so many things to be thankful for. Jesus showed us that thankfulness proceeds the miraculous. He did this continuously throughout His ministry. One of my favorite examples of this is Him thanking God for five loaves and two fishes, before it multiplied into a feast that fed thousands.
Let’s thank God today for our nation before continuing the important work of intercession.
Happy Birthday America!
What are you thankful for about America?