November 27, 2009

Among Our Greatest Blessings is Reason for Hope: Support the Constitutionof the United States

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Sent: Friday, November 27, 2009 7:42 PM
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Support the Constitution of the United States Bulletin

Posted by Meg Vogl

Among Our Greatest Blessings is Reason for Hope
By Chris Stewart

While I was serving in the United States Air Force, I once stopped in the Philippines on my way home from a deployment overseas. After checking into a very nice hotel, I stood in my room and looked through the rear window onto a ghetto that had sprung up along a huge canal at the back of the hotel. There I saw a young Filipino mother washing her children in the filthy water that was draining into the ditch. She looked to be about my age. Her children looked to be about the same age as my children. I watched them for a very long time, seeing the hunger in their faces and the desperate conditions in which they lived. I then realized something very important: This was a family without any expectation that things were ever going to change. This young mother had no reason to believe that one day she wouldn't be washing her grandchildren in the very same ditch she was washing her children in now.

After being away from home for an extended period of time, I was looking forward to seeing my family. I knew that when I did, I would find them safe and well and warm. My children wouldn't have thin arms and hallow eyes from malnutrition. Also, I fully expected that they would live their lives in freedom, never facing real hunger or real fear, and always having hope for the future.

This experience made me profoundly grateful for this nation we call home. It reminded me in a very personal way how grateful I was for hope. Hope for my future. Hope for my children's future. Hope for the days that lie ahead.

Today, some of us wonder about our country and what the future holds in store. Economic uncertainties confront us as they never have before. Our soldiers – some of the best young men and women our nation has ever produced – find themselves engaged in two long and controversial wars. Emotional, sometimes bitter, debates seem to canker our public discourse. These and many other troubles confronting us lead some to question if our children should have the same confidence in their future that I felt while looking down from that luxury hotel.

It is true. Great challenges loom before this people. Dangers lie at every turn.

But this is also true: God has blessed this country since its inception. At critical times in the past, God has performed miracles to get this country through its greatest perils.

God still cares about this country. God still needs America to shine the light of freedom around the world. And just as He has provided miracles to save us in our past, I believe there are miracles yet to come.

A couple of years ago I found myself in Morocco in one of the most anti-American and poverty stricken neighborhoods in the world. As I walked along a narrow alley, I happened upon a tiny shop kept by an old man in a white robe with a long beard. There, on the ancient timber behind him, was a poster written in English. I stopped to read it. "Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal . . . ."

Abraham Lincoln. The Gettysburg Address.

Even in this, one of the most desperate and hostile neighborhoods you could imagine, for some America still represented hope of freedom and a better life ahead. And while many of us believe there is something special about this nation, it is important to remember that millions of people around the world believe the same thing, hope the same thing, and want the same thing to be true.

At this time of year, as we take the time to name our blessings, we ought to remember that we are not just black or white or rich or poor. We are not just Democrats or Republicans. On this day, we are Americans. We have so much for which to be grateful. And among our greatest blessings is reason for hope!

Chris Stewart recently co-authored the book "Seven Miracles That Saved America: Why They Matter and Why We Should Have Hope." He is a world-record-setting Air Force pilot (fastest nonstop flight around the world) and president and CEO of The Shipley Group.

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