As each of those brave souls lifted the quill and placed his signature upon the document known as the Declaration of Independence, our founding fathers had set a course into the uncharted waters of democracy with a government directed by and for the people.
Now our nation stands 246 years on this side of that historic day in Philadelphia. Our country has answered the call of history time and time again—from winning foreign wars against those who would change our way of life or threaten our people to economic instability and attacks on our own soil. As Americans, we are survivors. We accept challenges to do the impossible while also trying to protect those around the world who cannot defend themselves.
As a nation, we have been blessed with material wealth, national security, world recognition and military might. We have avoided military coups and governmental takeovers, as we so often witness in other countries around the world. The United States has given birth to some of the brightest minds ever known and philanthropists who truly seek to help their fellow man. Inventions which have benefited the known world were conceived within our borders and medical advancements have so often been discovered within laboratories directed and funded by Americans. In short, we have been blessed beyond measure.
But to me, there is still one more thing this nation needs above all else at this hour...prayer. I know prior generations have solicited God’s wisdom and divine intervention as our nation walked through hardships and lost her sons in battle. Pandemics and near economic collapses have been on our doorstep over the years, but the times in which we now live may be the most desperate ever.
This is not a writing pitting Democrats against Republicans, liberals versus conservatives or one race against another. This is a plea for Americans to pray for God’s forgiveness, redemption and grace. If ever our nation has needed to feel the touch of His healing hand, it is today.
In a time when so many call for tolerance among men, we are less tolerant of others than ever. We are witnessing division among our ranks like I have never seen. I marked my 55th birthday the day before drafting this piece. I know I have not seen it all. No man has. But from His seat in heaven, the Good Lord has witnessed the failures, ineptness and sin of man from the beginning of time. What our nation needs above all else is prayer and probably a good old-fashioned revival.
Do we need economic stability? Yes. Do we need to rein in inflation? Yes. Those making minimum wage are working an hour simply to buy a gallon of gas. Extreme ideologies have served to demonize those on both sides to the point we can no longer carry on a civil conversation. Social issues have become more polarizing than I ever knew was possible and in recent years we have witnessed rioting in our streets and more mass-casualty shootings than a first-world country should know. This nation needs healing. This nation needs peace. This nation needs leadership in Montgomery and Washington – leadership focused on improving this nation as a whole and placing her back on the course God intended.
Do not misunderstand. I am not asking readers to compromise and water down their beliefs. Men and women have convictions for a reason. Moral principles are birthed within us to encourage us to act, to come to the aid of others and create a better society for those who come behind us. Again, I am very conservative and as a result, there are ideologies I cannot and simply will not accept. There are those in our country who would have us accept any and all things under the guise of tolerance. Not me. I can love and respect those with whom I disagree, but I refuse to stand before Almighty God when my days on Earth come to a close and face His judgment for abandoning Christian principles in the face of opposition in this confused society.
So while we set aside July 4, to honor the birth of our country, pay tribute to those who were there in the beginning and enjoy some grilled food and maybe a day at the lake, I would simply ask this. In the midst of the celebration, say a sincere prayer for America. Because above all things, seeking God’s will for our nation is most important. If we would ever learn to follow His lead, the nation which would result from our submission would be greater than anything we could imagination.
Happy Fourth of July and may God see fit to continue to bless America.
State Representative Tracy Estes
See complete story in the Northwest Alabamian.