America’s hard-fought-for independence in 1776 will soon be celebrated again with parades, fireworks, speeches, etc. I wonder sometimes: Am I truly grateful for all the freedoms we have in America? How often do I take them for granted?
When freedoms are taken from us, we learn to appreciate them so much more. I’m not trying to cast a shadow of gloom on the celebration of our nation’s independence. We truly have reason to celebrate. But I can’t help grieving that for many, there is no freedom in sight. Those who have lost control of their own wills and cannot even hope anymore. Yes, even in America.
“There are more slaves in the world today
than at any other point in human history,
with an estimated 27 million in bondage across the globe.
Men, women, and children are being exploited
for manual and sexual labor against their will.
THE AVERAGE AGE OF TRAFFICKING
VICTIMS IS 12 YEARS OLD
Women and children are often kidnapped into the industry or
sold into it by family under desperate circumstances.
The average age of victims continues to grow younger
as clients seek “fresh” product.”
Doesn’t this just turn your stomach and break your heart? And this number doesn’t even include all the children, women, and even men whose bodies, minds, and souls are imprisoned in the shackles of abuse, either past or present. Emotional, verbal, mental, sexual. The unseen terrors of domestic violence and abuse hiding behind masks. The bondage of the will in cults and legalistic churches. Even in some Christian churches who refuse to believe their leaders may be guilty of violating the trust of and abusing vulnerable women and children. Who support perpetrators instead of victims.
Our Declaration of Independence states:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident,
that all men are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
All men, women, and children have the God-given right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Sadly, human traffickers and perpetrators continue to ignore these rights.
Yes, Americans, slavery is not only present in other parts of the world, but it is here in our “free” country. Much closer than we realize. And the slave drivers and traders include men with double lives – respected in their communities but carrying out unspeakable atrocities behind the scenes.
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free.
But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh;
rather, serve one another humbly in love.
For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command:
“Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Again, I’m not trying to cast a shadow of gloom over the celebration of our nation’s independence. May God truly bless America! I just ask that as we thank God for these freedoms, we also put in a plea for deliverance and healing for all those held captive by abuse and human-trafficking.
Above all, that we remember where our ultimate freedom lies – not in any human being or a country, but through Jesus who gave up His freedom so we could be set free. Free from all sin, our own sin and the sin others have committed against us.
It can sometimes be so hard to let this truth get past our heads and sink into our hearts. But no matter how distrusting we are of God’s intentions, He accepts us just as we are, brokenness and all. He remains faithful to His promises, no matter how we feel.
“So now there is no condemnation
for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
And because you belong to Him,
the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you
from the power of sin that leads to death.”
Romans 8:1-2 NLT