One of my favorite stories to hear a child was of the birth of my grandmother Schesser. Grandma Schesser was born on the Fourth of July, in Horton, Kansas. Even though I had heard the story several times, I was blessed to have my great-grandmother Small (Grandma Schesser’s mother) tell me the story just months before she passed away. Even though she was in her 90’s she could still remember the story with great accuracy, she told how in the middle of the annual city Fourth of July picnic, on the edge of town, she began to have contractions and got my great-grandad to take her home in the buggy so that my grandmother could be born.
Grandma Schesser was always very proud of being born on Independence Day and was a very patriotic American. She was proud of my Grandad’s service in WW II, and of my uncle Rich’s service in Viet Nam. One of the blessings of my life was that she was much prouder of another birth in her life, that of being born again as a child of God through Jesus Christ. While Grandma Schesser was a proud American, she was a much much prouder Christian, and I was blessed as a young man to have the influence of grandparents that saw our God as so much bigger than our town, or our state or our nation. They saw Christ as the true savior of the whole world. They taught us as children that no matter what was going on in our lives, we had a God who was bigger than our problems, a God we could go to and openly share all of our struggles and a God who would listen to us with love.
Today, on the Fourth of July, I will celebrate the legacy of so many great Americans who have come before me, especially Verna Schesser, my grandmother! I will celebrate our great nation as well but more than all this I will give praise for a God who is above nations and came to restore all humanity into relationship with the God of the universe.
Read: Psalms 10, 11 and 12
Questions to Consider:
1. Consider where you are this Fourth of July weekend; is this a year of celebration or a year of struggle? Are you finding joy in the place of life you find yourself in or are you in pain over the issues going on all around us?
2. What does the writer of Psalm 10 have to say to God about their struggles? Write in your own words what this writer is saying to God.
3. In Psalms 11 and 12 how does King David express his struggles to God?
Activity for the Day: Take time today to write a letter to God. Tell God what is going on in your life. As you write, you can even tell God where you may be struggling, angry or having doubt. End the letter by reaffirming your trust that even in your doubts (if you have any) or your anger (if you have anger) you trust that God will lead us through.
Have a blessed and safe Independence Day celebration today!