As I reflect on the freedoms that we all enjoy I can’t help but to be thankful! Freedom isn’t free. If you trace the history of America and reflect on the sacrifices made, you can’t help but to be thankful!
On September 6th,1620, 102 Pilgrims set sail aboard the Mayflower to find their new home and their new-found freedom. They traveled 2750 miles at an average speed of just under 2 mph!! An interesting story about their journey is told of one of the sailors who was a foul-mouthed, gruff, and rude man who used to make fun of the pilgrims and their sea-sickness. He told them he looked forward to throwing half of their dead bodies overboard on the journey so he could take their possessions for himself. In an ironic twist of fate, and unbelievably, only one pilgrim died on their journey. But, this sailor was the first to get sick and soon died of a horrible disease and his was the only body thrown overboard. On the journey William Bradford wrote, “Thus his curses light on his own head, and it was an astonishment for all his fellows for they noted it to be the just hand of God upon him!”
When they arrived at Cape Cod, it was winter so they stayed onboard the ship and another 45 died that first winter. They finally unloaded and settled on the land in March of 1621! That’s a lot for freedom…but it didn’t end there.
They then had to fight for their freedom from Great Britain in the Revolutionary war. The price was steep: About 7,200 Americans died in battle during the Revolution. Another 10,000 died from disease or exposure and about 8,500 died in British prisons…for freedom.
This was a steep price for freedom – I think the words of Patrick Henry sum it up well:
“If we wish to be free, we must fight! I repeat it sir, we must fight! An appeal to arms and to the God of Host is all that is left us. They tell us sir that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Sir, we are not weak if we make a proper use of those means which the God of nature hath placed in our power. The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable–and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come. Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”
Freedom isn’t free.
Galatians 5:1 says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”
You see, there is another kind of freedom that we can all partake in! Just like all the sacrifices made so that we can enjoy political freedom as a nation – Christ paid the ultimate price by giving His life as a ransom for many!! He died so that we would not have to…so that we could be FREE!! He not only “died for us” but more importantly, took our place! He died instead of us! We were the ones that deserved the punishment that He endured. And He did it, the Bible says, so that you and I could be FREE!!
Are you free today? I mean, really free? Or, is there something that has you bound. Does your sin have you in prison? Are you a captive to your thought-life? Are you a slave to an addiction? Are you trapped in a cycle of religion…of trying to measure up? Christ came to set us free…and we can be free indeed!
One more thing, in 1776 Patrick Henry also wrote this, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great Nation was founded not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. For that reason alone, people of other faiths have been afforded freedom of worship here.” I could’t agree more!
I’d love to hear from you and have your thoughts on the post! Have a great week!