Reaching Our Destination as a Nation
“A small story about a big ship and a refugee and a sailor. It was back in the early ‘80s, at the height of the ‘boat people’, and a sailor was hard at work on the Carrier, Midway which was patrolling the South China Sea. The sailor, like most American servicemen, was young, smart, and fiercely observant. The crew spied on the horizon a leaky little boat. Crammed inside were refugees from Indo-China, hoping to get to America. The Midway sent a small launch to bring them to the ship to safety. As the refugees made their way through the choppy seas, one spied the sailor on deck and stood up and called out to him. He yelled, ‘Hello, American sailor. Hello, freedom man.’ It was a small moment with a big meaning. It was a moment the sailor wrote in a letter, because he couldn’t get it out of his mind. When I saw it, neither could I. Because, that’s what it meant to be an American in the 1980s. We stood for freedom. I know we always have, but in the past few years, it seems the world, and even we, ourselves, have rediscovered it. We have held together through some stormy seas. In the end, together, we’re reaching our destination.” (President Ronald Reagan)
“Creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay.” (Romans 8:21; NLT)
Give Him 15 minutes in prayer:
- Thank God for the freedom we enjoy as Americans!
- Worship Him any way you feel like it! Shout, clap, dance, read His Word out loud, or sit and meditate deeply on one specific scripture. Praise His Holy Name, for He is worthy to be praised for what He has done!
- Consider how free we Americans are. Ponder the immigration issues we have. Stir up compassion for those trying to get to American and experience the freedom they hear we have.
- Intercede for the immigrants. Say, “Give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me.”
- As you pray those words from the Statue of Liberty inscription, you are literally asking God to send a harvest of souls into this nation. Cry out for them.
A prayer you can pray:
God, thank You for this country called, The United States of America. We are a land of freedom. We are free, because You established our course, and, largely, Christian men and women have followed Your plans and purposes forward in history. We don’t often think about what You have given us. Then, a story, like the one shared by President Reagan, comes along. As we read the words, it hits us, “We are the most free nation on the earth!” You did that! You gave us this foundation of freedom! Let us not waste it! Certainly, let us share it with those who are able to make it to our shores. If they are persecuted, impoverished, begging to be free, and willing to share their gifts and talents with us, then we embrace them. We will be a better nation for it. Lord, bring the immigrants. Bring those huddled masses, yearning to be free. Bring the harvest of souls from the nations to our shores. Strengthen who we are—America, the melting pot, a beautiful tapestry of freedom, a symbol of freedom in the earth. In the name of Jesus, amen.
Because of Christ as our foundation, America stands as an example of freedom for the whole world to see!
1 Excerpted from President Ronald Reagan’s Farewell to the Nation, January 11, 1989.