Today has been named by our nation’s historic Declaration of Independence. On July 4, 1776, we declared that the thirteen American colonies were free of British rule. I’d say that freedom runs deep in my American veins but actually it’s deeper than nationality. Freedom is a human issue. Human beings can’t function without freedom any more than a flag can fly without wind.
Here’s a freedom story for you: Edith Eva Eger survived Auschwitz where her parents died in the gas chambers. But that was just the beginning of the horrors. A German guard broke the girl’s back, and she survived the death march through Austria. At the end of the war, Edith had wasted down to 40 pounds, being left on a pile of bodies for dead. But an American soldier saw her hand move, pulled her out, called the medics, and Edith lived to tell her story of survival. Her message focuses on freedom of choice, something she says can’t be stolen. She recalls dying of starvation in the camp:
“I chose to eat grass. And I sat on the ground, selecting one blade over the other, telling myself that even under those conditions I still had a choice–which blade of grass I would eat.”
They took everything from Edith, but they could not take her freedom.
In memory of the freedom our nation’s fathers died for, and in memory of little Edith in the midst of hell on earth, let’s celebrate freedom today. The enemy can take our peace, our homes, our health, our livelihoods, our very lives, but God has built an impenetrable wall around the sanctum of the human will. Circumstances may devastate, humans and devils may torment, disease may encroach, fortunes may fail, but the treasure of freedom will always be ours. It may not be freedom to do as we please; our human rights may be horribly violated. But because the One stripped of everything but His love hung on a Cross for us, we have the ultimate say over how we think and respond to the world around us. How have you used your freedom?