I love holidays largely because of the one thing they all have in common: A call to gratitude.
Holidays remind of us of who we are, where we’ve come from, our shared struggles, and our common victories. And if we aren’t too caught up in the surrounding hype – the food or the presents or the festivities – we reflect on all those things with shared gratitude.
We live in a great country, don’t we? A country built on the sacrifice and service of men and women who fought for and, in some cases, died for the freedoms we share and enjoy. And while we might lament much about where we are and where it seems we’re going as a nation, we can still be grateful for all that we have.
So I’m grateful for our independence. And I hope you are, too.
At the same time, there’s an ironic twist to the strength of American independence: It’s founded on complete dependence. Thus Independence Day also can rightly be celebrated as Dependence Day.
Dependence, you say? On what?
Our country was founded and has grown to greatness because of the independence of a people who have been dependent on God.
George Washington said, “It’s the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.”
The more we stray from that dependence, the more we risk the freedoms we’ve inherited. Our country simply is not designed for independence without dependence. As John Adams put it, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”
So now that we’ve rightly celebrated our independence, let us live in full dependence to the One who allowed us to have it.