3 Strengthen the feeble hands,
steady the knees that give way;
4 say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear;
your God will come,
he will come with vengeance;
with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”
5 Then will the eyes of the blind be opened
and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
6 Then will the lame leap like a deer,
and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness
and streams in the desert.
7 The burning sand will become a pool,
the thirsty ground bubbling springs.
In the haunts where jackals once lay,
grass and reeds and papyrus will grow.
8 And a highway will be there;
it will be called the Way of Holiness;
it will be for those who walk on that Way.
The unclean will not journey on it;
wicked fools will not go about on it.
9 No lion will be there,
nor any ravenous beast;
they will not be found there.
But only the redeemed will walk there,
10 and those the LORD has rescued will return.
They will enter Zion with singing;
everlasting joy will crown their heads.
Gladness and joy will overtake them,
and sorrow and sighing will flee away. (Isa. 35:3-10 NIV)
There is a rose bush in our front yard which bears full red, ruffled blooms which gently open and cast their tender, alluring scent into the air. This rose bush was a gift from two friends for my birthday in May 2007, the day before I invited a group of people representing different branches of the military (and different seasons of military service) to join me in the recording studio to sing as a choir of troops singing for troops on the song STAND UP.
My two friends, with me through thick and thin as I have endeavored to walk out God’s will, had searched long and hard for just the right rose for me, cognizant that each individual type of rose has a registered name. The name of this beautiful rose is “Let Freedom Ring”, which is the final tag line in the song, STAND UP. I was overwhelmed by the thoughtfulness and significance of their gift!
It has been 4 1/2 years and still the rose blooms in our yard. Each year the bush is pruned back until it appears to be only dead sticks, then day by day, month by month the canes grow and bear vibrant blooms which captivate the senses from May through November.
If there is one thing I have learned about roses, it is that in order to receive the blessing of the blooms, one has to deal with the thorns. And as this rosebush continues to grow and flourish in our yard, bearing fragrant, delicate, stunning blooms on thorny branches, perhaps there is a message here regarding our military and our nation.
As in most areas of our lives, when we look at the “news” being broadcast, most of it is negative. The focus is on the exceptional bad with little report of the general good. Perhaps we need to consider the season we are in and learn to work with and cultivate through the thorns until we see beautiful, prolific blooms again.
We must be vigilant and diligent. We cannot stand idly by and not tend to our country, and not care for our military and their families.
There has always been a price for freedom, both on the battlefield and in terms of citizen participation in government. If we remain complacent and apathetic or give up, the result will be wild, erratic, uncontrolled, unhealthy growth which produces nothing good (and the thorns will dominate!)
We must help our military where we can. (For Christians this means stepping in with tangible, emotional and spiritual support as the love of Christ, bringing the restorative power of the one true faith with us). We must be involved in our government and not just throw up our hands in exasperation at the tangle of thorns.
Thorns in every aspect of life are to be expected. Why do we let them surprise us.
May we sound a trumpet and declare by our prayers and actions, “Let Freedom Ring” and may we never, ever give up. God is faithful. He will hear us, direct us and bring His victory.
SELAH! [Pause, and calmly think of that!]
STAND UP (words & music by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2007) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50gByW27aAE&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL
We will fight for freedom; we will fight the war.
Where enemies have vanished, they will be found
No more will they attack us, we stand up to fight
We will protect the nation; God is on our side.
Stand up, stand up , stand up and fight.
Stand up, stand up, stand up and fight.
2) When darkness comes against us the battle is the Lord’s
We are true to You, victory is assured
You are sovereign General, You know how to fight
We seek You in the morning, praise You in the night
3) Devoted to Your purpose, a charge for God to keep
We focus on the mission, though the path is steep
We bow down in prayer, You alone know the Way
You give us strength and courage, we march to victory
Let freedom ring! Let freedom ring! Let freedom ring!
RESTORE (words & music by Elizabeth Burgard Fulgaro (c) 2009) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piQYnPY1vIA&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL
1) We call, You promise to answer
We cry, You promise to hear
So we call, call, Lord answer
We cry, cry, O hear
Invade our presence, inhabit our praise
In us as we are in You
Living Water flow from the throne
Restore the wasteland to You
2) You alone are Creator
We are the work of Your hands
We join worship in heaven
We cry, restore the land
Living Water flow (Living Water flow)
PLEASE remember to view the new song, “ONE NATION UNDER GOD” on youtube at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d593RguxQI8&feature=share SHARE the link! Let’s let everyone know that the USA is and remains one nation under God and be encouraged in how God values every individual.
Elizabeth Fulgaro is a wife, mother, writer, inspirational speaker, worship leader, composer, singer & recording artist. She is also a Certified Financial Planner and Accredited Financial Counselor with a heart for helping Christians understand and steward their finances God’s way.
For books, worship cds, Bible studies and teachings written by Elizabeth Fulgaro or to schedule her to come speak to your group please visit www.holyspiritpress.org Worship music audio clips can be found at www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ElizabethFulgaro For information on her work for the military and their families please visit www.eaglesnestfoundation.org Eagles Nest Foundation is a 501(c)3 corporation. Contributions are tax-deductible.