After All the “FIREWORKS!”

July 30, 2018 at 6:22 pm

 “Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”                             (2 Cor. 3:17 NLT)

by Debbie Allen

The glory of the celebration of our Nation’s independence is written all across the sky… at least for one night a year.  This past Fourth of July, all around the city, people left work early, took extended holidays, attended BBQ’s, and sang patriotic songs with renewed gusto.  From the color of the fruits on the picnic table, to our choices of patriotic clothing, to the little flags painted on our faces, fingernails, and even our toenails; we are all about celebrating America’s Red, White and Blue.   These are the colors of Freedom and we are proud to fly them high.  We revel in their unmatched beauty on Independence Day but, what about the days following all the fireworks?  What do we do with America’s Red, White, and Blue the rest of the year?

As I drove around the city a few days after all the fireworks,  I witnessed American Flags, once lining city streets on both sides being folded, put away, and placed into city storage boxes.   Most of the flags dangling from neighborhood homes, in celebration of the 4th, were already stowed away in their closets and wouldn’t see the light of day again until Labor Day weekend.  Even the patriotic corner firework- stands, which dotted city intersections disappeared. If I didn’t know better, I’d say it looked as though America’s Red, White and Blue was going under-cover!

Realistically, I know this wasn’t true, but as I watched city workers boxing up the Red,White and Blue  I’d grown to love seeing in every corner of my world just days before; a melancholy thought swept over me.  Not only were they putting away flags for another season; I envisioned them putting away the Truth that embodies the Red, White, and Blue, too.  Packed away and covered in darkness…who will see it?


“Our American Flag embodies a vision of Freedom like no other… “


There’s a deeper spiritual truth in play here.  Our American Flag embodies a vision of Freedom like no other.  Its Stars and Stripes are a daily, visual reminder of the fearless, courage and integrity, self-sacrifice and devotion of Americans, past and present, who willingly laid their lives down in defense of the freedom we walk in today.  I believe we remember this truth with every glimpse of its unfurled beauty.  However, we too often forget an even greater Truth.  America is a Heaven-Rescued land; meaning there are spiritual implications concerning our own hearts and the price of Freedom.  The Stars and Stripes we know and love reflect a much bigger picture of HiStory (God’s Story), than you may be aware of.  Consider the words of the Prophet,Isaiah, from the Old Testament, pointing us to a different set of Stripes from our past:

”…the burden of our peace was upon Him (Jesus) and by His Stripes we are healed.”(Isaiah 53:5)


“…the burden of our peace was upon Him (Jesus) and by His Stripes we are healed.”

(Isaiah 53:5)


I don’t know every earthly soldier’s story of sacrifice but, through the Bible, I’m allowed a precious glimpse into Jesus’ Sacrifice. Every time my eye perceives those red stripes on Old Glory, I’m reminded of the great drops of blood streaming down Jesus’ forehead as He knelt, praying to His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane before facing His Crucifixion.  I’m deeply, humbled when I remember how Jesus yielded to the cruelty of an undeserved, Roman punishment known as the cat-o- nine tails. This merciless flogging left His flesh torn to the bone, muscle and organs exposed, and his back striped in blood from lashes inflicted, totaling no less than 39 thrashings.  My heart still fills with anguish each time I picture Jesus’ Face, while He hung on the Cross, striped in blood, from these same soldier’s hands pressing a crown of 2-inch thorns down into His brow before mocking and spitting on Him in his final hours.  (Mt 27:26)(Mk 15:15)(Jn 19:1)


    ” America is a Heaven-Rescued Land; meaning there are Spiritual implications concerning our own hearts and the price of Freedom. ”  


         “… and by His Stripes we are healed.” (Isaiah 53:5)

As a Country and as individuals, “The burden of our peace… or our Spiritual Freedom was fought for and won by the willing sacrifice of Jesus’ life upon the Cross.  Similar to the earthly battlefields, where countless soldiers down through the years fought and died to keep peace in our land; the Cross stands as the ultimate, spiritual Battleground where Jesus fought for our souls, at the cost of giving up His own Life in exchange for ours so we might live and experience true Freedom…peace-of-heart from the inside-out.

Every stripe on our American flag declares the Saving Grace of the bloodshed and Glory behind them. Our Flag…though its pole is planted firmly in the soils of this great Land, its banner waves high in the heavens for a reason.  I believe it’s meant to draw our eyes heavenward and petition our forgetful hearts to remember the Sacrifices made for all of us who continue to walk, daily, in freedom throughout America.  Even after all the fireworks, we must never hide-away what was meant to be seen and heard by all…the Truth and the Glory enveloping our Freedom as individuals and as a Nation.   I pray God’s continued Blessing on our Heaven-rescued Land; a Land where we must daily and courageously, seek to to continue proclaiming the unbridled Truth of the Red, White, and Blue; standing strong and united as “One Nation, under God…indivisible…with Liberty and Justice for all.”


Have you ever  considered the spiritual implications concerning your own heart and the  Freedom you walk in every day?

The next time you glimpse the American Flag, will you see beyond the Red and White stripes to the Truth and Glory they represent?

What will you do with the idea of these heavenly “Stripes.”  Turn away from them or consider the high cost of the Freedom Jesus bought for you?

PRAYER: Dearest Heavenly Father, strengthen me that I may never hide-away what You meant to be seen and heard by all… Your Truth and Your Glory, both in me, and in this Nation.  I  stand in awe of the Red, White, and Blue…….and You.  Cultivate in me a more grateful spirit and a greater awareness of the unfathomable price of Freedom and the Heaven-Rescued ground I walk upon every day in this great Land.  Thank You!

In Jesus Name…Amen