Among the Mural Wall, and the nineteen stainless steel statues, and the United Nations Wall of the Korean War Memorial in Washington D.C. is the Pool of Remembrance. This shallow Pool (thirty feet deep) is lined with black granite and is surrounded lushly by a grove of linden trees. The wall includes inscriptions of the number of men and women killed, wounded, missing in action and those held as Prisoners of War.
Since the Revolutionary War, nearly 1.2 million American men and women have given their lives to fight for what I consider to be the greatest nation on our planet. They gave their lives so that we might enjoy freedom.
Yet, there is another granite wall that is constructed at the Korean War Memorial with a simple, yet ominous inscription engraved in silver:
Freedom is not free.
A grave reminder that serves each of us an incredibly powerful truth.
Freedom is never free. Freedom has and always will cost somebody something.
This month we celebrate the 4th of July, the birth of our great nation. I love the patriotism. I love seeing “Old Glory” whip in the wind as they hang off of the homes on the street on which I live. I love the fireworks; admittedly, I am somewhat of a “pyro”…not in the criminal sense mind you…but I enjoy a great fireworks finale at the local fireworks celebration as much as anyone! I love the cookouts and the picnics that may or may not include several bacon wrapped hotdogs! (Isn’t America great?)
The 4th of July ranks up there as one of my favorite holidays to celebrate. But for me, I tend to celebrate this holiday for what is perhaps a different reason than most.
You see, that age old axiom, “Freedom isn’t free” rings true to me in a very deep and spiritual sense as well. Just as blood was shed for the freedom that you and I enjoy as citizens of the United States, there was blood shed for the freedom that I enjoy as a child of God and a citizen of Heaven.
This month, I am able to enjoy two realms of freedom. I am free as an American because of the men and woman who died to afford me such freedom. Yet, as a follower of Jesus, I enjoy an even greater freedom which comes through the shed blood of Jesus on the Cross. In the New Testament book of 1 Peter, Peter tells us that our freedom (and redemption) was purchased with the precious blood of Jesus Christ. It is an unfortunate reality that freedom is almost always a bloody affair. The Bible teaches that there is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood (Hebrews 9:22). I am free because I am forgiven. I am forgiven because Jesus loved me to the Cross and willingly shed His blood for me.
It is my hope and prayer that each of you reading this edition of Health and Wellness Magazine can truly celebrate the freedom(s) afforded you this 4th of July. May we all humbly celebrate the freedom we have as Americans as we remember the birth of our nation through the sacrifices of
thousands. But perhaps, this 4th of July, you may also be able to celebrate the freedom you have through the ultimate sacrifice paid on the Cross by Jesus.
Freedom always cost someone something. Always. Whether on the battle grounds around the world or on the Cross, freedom is never free.
May you all have a happy and safe 4th of July.
Gathering Pointe Church
Meets Sundays at Imagine School
2940 Sunlake Blvd
Land O Lakes, FL 34638
Sundays at 10:30 AM