One of God’s greatest gifts is the gift of choice – the gift of freedom – that He gave us from the beginning.
“The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden—except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” Genesis 2:15-17 (NLT)
Even Jesus was given the gift of freedom.
“The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.” John 10:17-18 (NIV)
Although the capability of every choice I make ultimately comes down to God’s provision, sometimes my choices give God more opportunity to show His blessing upon me.
“Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. For I command you this day to love the Lord your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the Lord your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.” Deuteronomy 30:15-16 (NLT)
Except for the blessing of living in the United States of America. This blessing has nothing to do with my choices.
It is by pure grace and mercy upon me that God chose for me to be born here – here – in America – the Land of the Free – the Home of the Brave – here.
Right now I could be one of these little girls in India enslaved and forced into the sex trafficking trade (As Our Own). I could be one of these children in Africa or Guatemala or Indonesia who live in poverty (Compassion). Or I could be a woman in Burkina Faso, the third poorest country in the world, with no clean water to drink (Engage Burkina).
But no. God blessed me with The United States. A place where I can live in peace. A place where I am treated with human worth. A place where I can dream without seemingly impossible obstacles to overcome first. A place where God’s original gift of freedom is realized.
There is nothing I did or do to deserve it. It is the blessing of Independence with no strings attached to me – just to God.