Happy July Fourth! Today is the day where Americans celebrate the founding of our nation and the declaration that we are free. We celebrate by eating 155 million hot dogs and blowing up 250 million pounds of fireworks. God bless America!
But this July Fourth I woke up feeling anything but festive. Digestive distress hit me like a firecracker. With pain and discomfort gripping my gut the last thing I wanted to do was join in my family's annual beach festivities. On the day's agenda was a picnic and evening bonfire but the war being waged in my stomach was threatening to keep me home.
All morning long my gut and heart played tug-of-war. The pull of my stomach told me to curl up, lay on the couch and forgo the picnic. But my heart wouldn't let go of its grip. With all its might my spirit doubled down and refused to let go. Deeper than the pit of my stomach was the desire of my heart to be part of my family. Stronger than the pain in my stomach was the yearning for freedom from the tyranny of my body's distress.
In those moments of indecision, wavering between surrender and seizing my freedom, I remembered what today is all about. The image of our Founding Father's risking their lives to sign their names to the Declaration of Independence flashed through my mind. They faced unimaginable hardship yet they took the hard road that they believed would lead to ultimate victory. When faced with submitting to tyranny or fighting for freedom they chose the harder road. The history that followed that decision leading all the way to today is proof that their choice was worth the cost.
In the spirit of the courage and bravery displayed on July 4, 1776 and the countless men and women who have fought to maintain the freedom declared on that day, I went to the beach and enjoyed a family picnic. I claimed victory over my stomach's tyranny. I pressed on and declared freedom from my body. I celebrated independence from my physical limitations.
Tomorrow there will not be a parade nor a picnic, but I don't need the world's festivities to claim my independence. God has made me free and given me a three hundred and sixty-five day a year reason to celebrate. He has freed my soul, freed my nation and freed my body. I am blessed with that independence that has broken the bondage of a malfunctioning body and crushed spirit. Because of the freedom I have in Jesus Christ I can claim victory over my gut, victory over MS and victory over my ailing body. I am not under the dictatorship of the physical body. I am freed and redeemed by the blood of the lamb and the sacrifice of my Savior.
As a citizen of the everlasting Kingdom of God every day is worthy of a July Fourth celebration because I am eternally, everlastingly free.