The Daily Paine

Memorial Day–dare we never forget the sacrifices!  This country, so beautiful in so many ways.  From the people who struggled to make it a great country, to those who continue to serve to protect its wonderful bounty.  I have always thanked the Lord to live in this country.  Sure, there are those who sometimes grate my last nerve, but I can look past that to the blessed land in which the Lord placed me to live.  Others do not have this opportunity.  God surely has shed His grace on the United States.

          “O beautiful for spacious skies, For amber waves of grain,
           For purple mountain majesties Above the fruited plain!
           America!  America!  God shed His grace on thee,
           And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea!”
                    –Katherine Lee Bates

With all of the bickering today, the ignorance and stupidity that is happening, we often forget the reasons why God allowed this country to be established.  One of those are seen in the pilgrims.  There were pilgrims all up and down the eastern coast, but the attention often is drawn to those at Plymouth who wanted to worship the Lord.  Other “pilgrims” came for economic and political liberty.  Either way, the theme was freedom.  And they took it across the great land that God had provided–Manifest Destiny.  Some deride the notion today, and there were issues that arose that were not handled properly, but this land was destined.

          “O beautiful for pilgrim fee, Whose stern, impassioned stress
           A thoroughfare for freedom beat Across the wilderness!
           America!  America!  God mend thy ev’ry flaw,
           Confirm thy soul in self-control, Thy liberty in law!”

Goodness, do we need self-control today!  People clamor for rights, but they forget those who died for those rights.  The problem is that in wanting “their rights” they forget the necessity of accepting their responsibility.  I could name the battles where men sacrificed for love of country and family and freedom.  They didn’t want to die, but they understood the cost of freedom.  The idea that man is noble is foreign to so many.  The idea that God is the provider and everything that is done in this country, because of His bountiful gift, should be thought of as divine.  Shame on us, shame on us!

          “O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife.
           Who more than self their country loved, And mercy more than life!
           America!  America!  May God thy gold refine
           Till all success be nobleness And ev’ry gain divine!”

The early patriots saw into the future.  They fought, bled, and died not just for their day, but for future generations.  They saw what America might become.  Did they have prophetic vision?  Maybe some did, but never mind that, they sacrificed not just for their family, but for generations to come.  This nobleness continued through the generations.  It makes me wonder, do we stop and think what America will be like in a hundred years?  Perhaps there is too much “junk” happening for us to see through the fog.  We must again be like the Greatest Generation, like the pilgrims and pioneers of old–continue to make America into the nation that God designed.

          “O beautiful for patriot dream That sees beyond the years
           Thine alabaster cities gleam, Undimmed by human tears!
           America!  America!  God shed His grace on thee,
           And crown thy good with brotherhood From sea to shining sea.”

We certainly need God’s grace!