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“ America, America, God shed His grace on thee.”

Lots of great music and flags and fireworks on the Fourth of July weekend. My husband and I enjoyed much of these, plus soft serve ice cream cones! A good celebration for our country. Then back to normal. So what does this have to do with Ivan (title)?

Well, I overheard a conversation, recently, between an older man born and raised in America, I will call Mike, and an Eastern European born new citizen named Ivan. Mike couldn’t understand why Ivan could be so happy in his attitude when he worked a hard labor job all night, and hardly had time to see his family. “I just don’t get it why you never complain, “ remarked Mike.

With strong passion Ivan turned to Mike and responded,” You just don’t know how wonderful is this country, America. I come here with nothing and I get good job, and place to live, and people nice and I have freedom. I am grateful to be here. It is good place. I live in other places, and there is no one good as this. American people do not understand how good it is!”

Ivan kept talking and I was listening 100 percent. A man who had lived in hard places, who had come to America for freedom, with almost no money, just a willingness to do anything to stay. All the rest of that day I kept remembering Ivan exclaim how thankful he was to be free in America. Wow.

So now it is days later, and I am still hearing echoes of Ivan’s joy over freedom. As to where I live, I have never known anything but freedom, and am certainly not thankful often enough about that. Even having been set free from the Law of sin and death by Jesus Christ, by the blood of His Cross…..has that amazing freedom impacted me so greatly that I rejoice in it before other people?

Please God, don’t let me forget the glorious blessing of being a citizen of America,
and a citizen of the Kingdom above. Free Indeed!

“For freedom He has made us free.”