“The Spirit and Gift of Liberty”

Fresh Manna 2009© by Pastor Tim Burt

2 Cor. 3:17 “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.”

I was in a taxi this morning in Washington DC. I struck up a conversation with the taxi driver of ethnic descent as I usually do when taking a taxi. I love talking with people that come from other countries to learn from and about them. My conversation with Abeba today melted my heart and almost brought me to tears.

I had asked Abeba how he liked our country. He responded saying, “I tell everyone who ever complains about American that they should visit and live in three other countries besides American. Then they would never complain again.” Abeba continued to tell me his story which would explain that statement. He told me that he was originally from Ethiopia. He was 41 years old (but looked much younger) and had a wife and three children all born here in America. He had the opportunity to come to America as a young man.

He had asked me if I remembered the time of the great Ethiopian famine back in 1984/85. I told him I remembered it very clearly. When that famine happened, countries from around the world reached out to with financial support and aid to the people of Ethiopia. When the famine had ended, there was a singing and dance troupe formed. This troupe traveled to 41 countries as ambassadors of thanks to the countries who provided support, to express their great appreciation for the help they had received. Abeba was a part of that troupe.

Abeba told me that there was no country like America. “There is no country that even comes close to America in the way of freedom, liberty, and opportunity that America offers.” He told me that when living in other countries, where he was from and his background had always led to prejudices that affected and hindered his quality of life and opportunity. He said, “Being an immigrant stopped or greatly hindered any chance to live freely or to get ahead or develop some type of path to success -but not in America!“ I love this country and am so thankful to now be a citizen of it!” “Too many people – maybe most, do not know what they have in living in America.”

My taxi ride was to the airport. As we were pulling into the airport, a van with a family and a driver who very much looked like he was of American decent pulled out into our lane and almost ran into us. Abeba honked briefly simply to let him know we were there. The driver of the van looked back, gave him “the finger” and pulled out anyway. Abeba and I looked at each other and laughed. I told him, “Well, America isn’t perfect, but I love our country and today you’ve helped me love it even more!

When you are in Washington, you are reminded most everywhere, that God-fearing men and women sacrificed most everything to establish this great country whom they recognized was created under that sovereign hand of God. The love for God and our Savior Jesus Christ amongst our forefathers and founders helped bring the spirit of liberty that became embedded in our constitution. As 2 Cor. 3:17 says, “Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.” It is the spirit of God that has caused this nation to be called “Sweet Land of Liberty.” It is this light and liberty that causes people all around the world to hear of America – creating the dream in their heart to come and live here. We heard that time and time again when talking to the immigrants we talked to this week. If we only all understood and could see it like Abeba shared it today!

Our forefathers did their part. Let us pray for the leaders of our nation and love our country doing ours!

In His Love,
Pastor Tim

Published by Pastor Tim Burt
Copyright© 2009 Tim Burt, All rights reserved.