The air was warm and still around us as we sat on blankets, watching our children play among the crowd gathered at the river. As we awaited the fireworks display, I glanced at the friends surrounding me, realizing that many of their husbands were deployed again on this fourth of July holiday.
This day of celebration was bittersweet for me. Pride filled my heart at the thought of Peter serving our country on the other side of the world, fighting for the very freedoms we were honoring. But I ached for him to come home so we could celebrate together.
I love living in a military community, especially one as large as the area surrounding Ft. Campbell. You can feel the love for our country and the respect of the community everywhere you go. And when tragedy strikes our troops, it is felt throughout the city.
Just yesterday I read about a young man killed in Afghanistan who had been scheduled to come home in just a few short weeks. He left behind a wife who will never again feel his arms around her and two small children who will never again play catch with their father in the backyard.
A few days ago I listened to an interview with former President George W. Bush as he spoke about the bravery of men and women in uniform. He told about the struggles these soldiers face when they come home from war. With tears threatening to choke his words, he mentioned the grief and responsibility he feels towards those men and women, even though it was necessary to put them in harm’s way in order to defend our country.
Freedom isn’t free.
As we prepare to celebrate July 4th, let’s take a moment to remember those who have served our country faithfully. Those who have been wounded, physically and emotionally, by war. And those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice so we can live freely in this great nation.
We live in the greatest country in the world. I truly believe that. But even with all our freedoms, we can still be held prisoner.
What is holding you captive today?
Friend, you no longer need to be imprisoned by these things. Jesus came to set the captive free. He came to set me free. And He came to set you free.
He gave up His life so that you and I could live for eternity with Him. He loves you that much.
Freedom isn’t free.
But the gift of salvation is free for us. All we need to do is believe in Jesus, trust Him with our lives, and follow Him.
Won’t you do that today?