Born in the USA

In 1984, Bruce Springsteen penned his anthem, “Born in the USA”. The same year Lee Greenwood recorded “God Bless the USA” singing,

If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life,
And I had to start again with just my children and my wife.
I’d thank my lucky stars to be living here today,
Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away.

Sorry, Lee, it’s not lucky stars we should thank but you’re right about the gratitude part.

John Flavel reminds us of God’s providence in selecting the land of our birth:

Ah friends! Can you think it an indifferent thing into what part of the world the womb of nature has cast you out?…This performance of Providence for you very much concerns your present comfort in this world. How poor, miserable, and unprovided with earthly comfort and accommodations are many millions of the inhabitants of this world! What mercies do you enjoy in respect of the amenity, fertility, temperature, and civility of the place of your habitation?…You are here provided with necessary and comfortable accommodations for your bodies, that a great part of the world are unacquainted with. — John Flavel, The Mystery of Providence

I have had the privilege of traveling to a couple very poor nations, and every time I go, I thank God for his mercies to me that I was born in the United States. Do you ever take time to think about the blessings God has heaped upon you simply by virtue of the country you were born in? What an abundance of food God has blessed us with in this country. The chip aisle in the supermarket has so many varieties, I get anxious trying to select a bag.

How about our medical facilities and technology? In some countries, many don’t even have access to Tylenol. After my wife Kristi visited Uganda, she told me of a young man who’d had a minor cut that became severely infected because he had no bandaids or antibiotic ointment. He lost his leg. In Uganda, Kristi saw people wait for days to see a doctor; I sigh if I have to wait 30 minutes.

Next time you have to slow down because of highway repairs, thank God for the incredible infrastructure he’s blessed us with. The streets in my neighborhood would be considered superhighways in some nations.

Rather than grumble about our government, let’s thank God for his providence in placing us in this nation. Let’s thank God for electricity. For hot showers in the morning. That we can wash our clothes in machines and not in the local river. For automobiles. In some countries, you’d be the richest man in the village if you owned a bicycle. We have so many comforts and pleasures. We live in beautiful homes in safe neighborhoods. What mercies we enjoy! Lord Jesus, thank you for your providence that we were born in this nation.

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.