The Wall America Needs to Build
Donald Trump’s campaign slogan is, “Make America Great Again.” Many take affront to this because it implies that America is not already great. While I am not a supporter of Mr. Trump, I must agree that America is not great right now and hasn’t been for some time.
The last time I saw true greatness in America was during and shortly after the 9/11 attacks. This horrible, unthinkable thing happened right here in the United States, which so many of us didn’t think was possible. But the images I saw showed me the real America. Strangers of all races and ethnicities rushing to help each other. First responders, including the police force that is now under attack, running into places where every living soul needed to be running away from.
The United States government suddenly became united, not Republican and Democrat, in order to take swift action to secure our safety. Homeland Security and TSA guidelines were put in place in record time.
The media showed real, raw emotion and actually tried to be tactful in their coverage. I haven’t seen that happen in a long time. Men and women not directly impacted by the attacks left careers, some quite profitable, to join the armed forces just to fight this enemy of America.
People were kinder to each other. Even as a minister, I encountered people who now wanted to really talk about God and the afterlife. Not debate but really talk about their options so they can make a decision about their eternity.
The day after the 9/11 attacks, the MLB started playing God Bless America during the 7th inning stretch instead of Take Me Out to the Ballgame. Now, in 2016, people are petitioning to stop this and go back to the other song. Also in 2016, they want to remove the reference to God in the pledge of allegiance and they want to remove prayer from high school and college sports.
Going into 9/11 we only had to reconcile the tragedy of Columbine but since 9/11 there have been over 30 mass shootings in the United States. And this does not include the daily death toll in Southside Chicago.
The America of today attacks Christians and tries to appease other religions in a futile attempt to thwart future attacks. The America of today demonizes entire groups based on the actions of a few. The America of today is unsafe for certain groups because of their gender or skin color or religious beliefs. The America of today has legalized gay marriage through the ‘Supreme” Court. A clear assertion of human authority over God’s authority. The last one to do that (Lucifer) was condemned to spend eternity in hell.
The Americans of today bully each other, often pushing others to suicide. The Americans of today are opinionated, quick to judge and quick to get angry. And there is confusion and hypocrisy everywhere.
So I cannot say that the America I am experiencing is great. But I do know God is great and greatly to be praised! When Israel turned its back on God, they suffered loss and captivity. But God always heard them when they came together in repentance. And He always restored them.
America can be great again but not without God. We cannot continue to live and do what is right in our own eyes. We must repent and turn from our wicked ways. The events of 9/11 brought humility to this country and we somehow have lost it. I never, ever want anything like 9/11 to happen again, and I worry that the mass shootings, hurricanes, drug epidemic, escalating suicide rates and police shootings are wake-up calls for this country to repent and find its humility again. And I feel we are missing the signs because too many people are keeping up with the Kardashians or questioning their gender or spending their energy poised to attack anyone who thinks differently from them.
When the prophet Nehemiah found out that Jerusalem was in disrepair even though there were Jews there returning from the exile, he went there and began the process of rebuilding the wall and the gates of the city with the people. He then gathered all the people and read the Law aloud to the assembly and along with the Levites re-instituted the rules, regulations and celebrations that they used to follow. And so Jerusalem was re-established.
America needs to rebuild the spiritual wall that rebellion has destroyed and go back to doing things God’s way so we can find safety in His divine protection. We need to ask ourselves a few questions as a nation. What else needs to happen to us? How many more people need to die?
“The high and lofty one who lives in eternity, the Holy One [God], says this: ‘I live in the high and holy place with those whose spirits are contrite and humble. I restore the crushed spirit of the humble and revive the courage of those with repentant hearts.’” (Isaiah 57:15).
If we want God with us, we must humble ourselves as a nation. If we want to be healed from all the devastation that is happening, we must repent and ask, “God, please bless America again.”
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