Every year since 1777 – one year after the Declaration of Independence was signed – the Fourth of July fireworks displays have signified freedom and independence on what’s known in the United States of America as Independence Day.
In addition to firecrackers, earth-shaking blasts, brilliant sky bursts and all, we also hear the lyrical imagery, ‘And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air…’ from our beloved national anthem, ‘The Star Spangled Banner.’ It’s mankind’s call for freedom!
Now, have you ever been in a real thunderstorm where lightning is crackling and flashing all around, and thunder is rolling and pounding so loud as if bombs were being dropped on your rooftop? It’s as if God himself is speaking and pacing the very floors of heaven.
He gets my full, undivided attention during that time! I get very quiet and humble just as many others do. The lyricist of the old gospel song, ‘No, Never Alone,’ wrote ‘I’ve seen the lightning flashing; I’ve heard the thunder roll…’
I’ve come to interpret this as a call to those who don’t know, and a reminder to those who do, of God’s call to servitude. It is the comfort of knowing whatever difficulties we may be going through, God is with us – as well as the realization that if we are in Christ Jesus, we are bound while we are yet free. We are accountable to God Almighty.
Look at the dichotomy – an earthly fireworks display for freedom on the one hand, and a heavenly ‘fireworks’ display for servitude on the other.
There are a host of countries around the globe that prohibit freedom of religion. Ironically, America, who has been the most tolerant for all religions, is more and more becoming less and less tolerant of the very religion, the tenet of Christianity, that this country [supposedly] was founded upon.
This year, as we celebrate the Fourth of July, think of the true freedom. Romans 7:25 reads: “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.” [NIV]
So, let us ask ourselves: Are we truly free? Are we doing what we ought to be doing with our freedom?