I have written several posts over the past month, about the things we need to pray for as a nation.
The tragedies in Florida and Kentucky, have made the battle for the heart and soul of our nation the most important issues we face, and for many of us some of the most vital prayers we pray.
This past week I was presented with the question, regarding the covenant we were founded on.
I was watching a news program, and the panel discussion turned to the debate that is ensuing, throughout our country over the tragedies.
Pat Gray, one of those on the panel, explained the concept of the American Covenant.
He said, “In 1789 George Washington made the American Covenant.” He explained that a covenant, is a promise or a contract, made between a people and GOD.
Just as the Children of Israel entered into such a contract, our first President did as well.
In his inaugural address, President Washington gave credit to GOD for the founding of America, and warned of the consequences to our nation, if we turn away from HIM.
After the inauguration, The President, along with members from Congress, walked to the St. Paul Church and spent two hours in prayer, reinforcing that promise.
Pat continued to explain, that he believes, as part of that covenant, GOD had expected us to abolish slavery, and when that did not happen, we were in breach of the covenant, and the Civil War was the result.
He said, and if you look at the Historical record of the Civil War, you can clearly see God’s hand.
As the war began, President Lincoln’s focus was on reunifying the states.
The early battles of the war were dominated by the Confederacy, and that should not have been the case.
Just as we should have been defeated during The American Revolution, by the stronger, more experienced, more resourceful British Army; The Union Army, had every advantage over the Confederate Army, yet they were losing, badly.
President Lincoln noticed.
He became more spiritual, and spent an enormous amount of time studying scripture. Then in January 1863, he signed the Emancipation Proclamation, theoretically ending slavery in the rebellious states.
The war immediately turned in favor of the Union forces.
Now, Pat says, he believes we have breached that contract once again, with the 60 million babies we have killed since 1973.
A number that is so astonishing in detail, that the CDC reports 1 in 3 babies are now being aborted.
To many across the globe, in other parts of the world, our stance on abortion is horrific.
As modern medicine, has allowed us to see clearly the development of a child in the womb, much of the world is saying, “That’s a baby!” and they are circling the wagons to protect the most innocent.
So why is the abortion conversation, surprising absent from many of the pulpits of America?
Too many, have been too closely affected.
All of us, have precious friends or family members, who are dealing with the regret of having an abortion, rather than deal with the ramifications of a unwanted or unexpected pregnancy.
But what if, that is the one key issue holding us back as a nation?
Beyond the exclusion of GOD from our classrooms since the sixties, the same sex marriage ruling by the supreme court in 2015, and now reclassifying of our children’s gender, as early as grade school.
What if, even with all the messes we have made of our nation, our survival is hinging on the resolve to protect the life of our unborn children?
It is a hard conversation to have, especially if it has affected someone you love, but the time has come to turn the page on one of the darkest chapters in our nations history.
GOD will forgive us, if we will forgive ourselves.
That may be one of the biggest obstacles we have to overcome, as we try to move beyond this dark time in history.
Learning to forgive ourselves.
A few years ago, a friend of mine sat beside me in a classroom one Sunday morning.
We were studying a series from Beth Moore. The subject of the study, was how we hold ourselves back if we don’t learn forgiveness. Not just for others, but ourselves included.
Throughout the lesson my friend had a somber look on her face.
At the end of class I asked her if she wanted to talk.
She hesitated, but then said, “Forgiving yourself, is a lot easier to talk about, than actually do.”
I told her that I understood, and I shared with her my personal experiences. I too, had at one time, struggled with overwhelming feelings of guilt. I knew GOD had forgiven me of my past mistakes, but there were some things I could not forgive myself for.
I told her to start, by asking GOD for exactly what she needs.
I told her, if she would begin to pray specifically about her situation, that GOD would provide direction.
I also told her, I would pray that GOD would help her in the week ahead.
All that week I prayed for her, never knowing what she was struggling with.
Then, on that following Saturday, I stopped at our local bookstore.
I was browsing, not looking for anything particular, but I noticed a book by one of my favorite authors called, ‘Tilly.’
I asked Keith, the store owner, about the book. I told him, I thought I had read everything by Frank Peretti, and wondered when, ‘Tilly’ had been published.
He told me It wasn’t new. The book was several years old, and he was surprised I hadn’t noticed it before.
Since I loved the author, I had to buy it. I took it home and laid it on my night stand.
That night, even though I had several books I was already reading, I couldn’t resist the urge to take a quick look.
I began flipping through the pages, reading a bit here and there, to get the general theme of the story.
I quickly realized, that it was about a woman, coming to terms with an abortion.
As I skimmed through the story, and began to understand the message, I had an overwhelming feeling that this was what my friend was dealing with.
The next morning I arrived at class early, and pulled her aside into another room.
I said, “Please forgive me for what I am about to ask you, but you will understand in a moment.” Then I very gently asked her, “Did you have an abortion?”
Tears immediately began to roll down her cheeks, and she said, “How can you possibly know that? I never told anyone but my dad.”
I gave her a hug and handed her the book, “This must be your’s.” I said, as I told her a little bit about the book, and explained how I found it, ‘by chance’ the day before.
GOD, heard our prayers, and HE gave my friend a path to recovery.
HE offers the same for us all.
A chance to begin again.
Again, and again, and again.
If MY people of MY COVENANT, who are called by MY NAME, will humble themselves and pray and seek MY FACE, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
March 4, 2018