In God We Trust

Tomorrow Americans will celebrate a day of reflection, just like the one requested by the Continental Congress in 1775 as they labored over a document that read: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, which among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness." This nation is unique in history. It was founded upon prayer, and that's why we have a National Day of Prayer tomorrow. Yet we who were born here are often the least appreciative of our special role in history. Some take America for granted, thinking we're just another country—and using up more than our fair share of resources, at that. But the rest of the world knows better; and so many long to come here and breathe free. The recent news accounts involving Cuban refugees remind us of what we have. Just think of all those who risked death to come to these shores. Most of those Cuban refugees became patriotic citizens, and they thrive here. In fact, the number one source of cash in Cuba today is the money sent home by refugees here in America. And just last week (April 30) we marked the 25th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War, with the fall of Saigon in 1975. Refugees fled to freedom then, too, hanging onto helicopter skids to get here. Some came alone, or were sent by parents, or came by boat to find opportunity and freedom. And they have prospered here. Well, that's how it's always been. The Pilgrims came here for religious liberty. They prayed for wisdom in founding this country. Our first President was a man of prayer. In one of his notebooks we find this prayer: "Direct my thoughts, words, and works. Wash away my sins in the immaculate Blood of the Lamb. And purge my heart by Thy Holy Spirit. Daily frame me more and more into the likeness of Thy Son Jesus Christ." God doesn't play favorites, but He founded America as a land where all nationalities and races would be welcomed, with unalienable rights and freedoms, including even the right not to believe in Him. Ours is the one of the only currencies in the world to mention God: "In God We Trust" is a daily reminder—and a prayer—every time we reach into our pockets. Our national songs are really hymns, as in the seldom-quoted fourth stanza of the National Anthem: "Blessed with vict-ry and peace, may the heav'n rescued land praise the Power that hath made us and preserved us as a nation." Yes, we need to praise the Power that created this nation under God, and to thank Him for giving us a country that still has a National Day of Prayer. Remember too that at one dark hour of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln said: "Sir, my concern is not whether God is on our side; my concern is to be on God's side." As we observe the National Day of Prayer tomorrow, let us pray that America will always strive to be on God's side, so that, as our National Anthem declares, that star-spangled banner may always wave over the land of the free and the home of the brave.


Chuck Colson



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