I never considered myself much of a patriot growing up. I moved to Russia when I was 16 and spent a good deal of my life there or exploring other countries in the years to follow. In my youthful zest for new experiences, I enjoyed diving headfirst into different cultures and often found America, with all its abundance, to be boring, frivolous, and lacking relational depth. Hamburger or fire-roasted bugs—I will probably always opt for the latter. However, as I gained greater perspective, I understood that America stands for something much more deserving than just sports, food, big houses, self-help books, and the very pronounced “I can take on the whole world” attitude that preceeds our national reputation.
America is a place where God is still seen as the good guy. He is still our hero—the one we call on when tragedy strikes. We talk about the love of God more than any other people group I’ve encountered. America honors love, justice, courage, faith, freedom, and virtuous causes. Such is not the case everywhere.
As an individual, I take pride in my American heritage now. I’ve finally come to the place where hearing the American anthem in a foreign country fills my eyes with tears of gratitude. These feelings do not come from a misplaced sense of superiority from a particular country, heritage, or government—for no worldly government is without its faults. This gratefulness comes in response to all the many kindnesses that God has shown our country. The many godly families, God-fearing believers, and biblical principles that still infuse our society and bring the light Jesus spoke about to our country. This light shines out like a city on a hill, and many in darkness are drawn to it (Matthew 5:14-16).
When I consider how I almost gave up my US citizenship at one point in my life (and even submitted all the documentation for this), I am very thankful to God. My heart is thankful that God saw fit to thwart my personal efforts and bring me to a place of greater trust, refuge, and healing. Although I know this security is a result of God’s presence and His merciful kindness—not America, I am still grateful that my birthright is to a country that acknowledges trusting God as more stable than the monetary value of coins. I pray the words “In God We Trust” will continue to lead us as a country and me as a follower of Christ. I pray that we as a people would understand that God IS loving and His ways CAN be trusted.
“It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.” Psalm 118-8-9 (NASB)
About the Writer:
Lyndsay has been many things in her past, but no career, experience, or calling define her more than the desire to follow Christ. At present, she teaches movement classes and works as a wellness consultant in addition to raising her daughter to know and love the Lord.
Lyndsay has a blog dedicated to sharing and celebrating the work of Christ through her experiences as a missionary, world traveler, knowledge seeker, and recipient of God’s lavish grace.