As the fireworks began, the sky lit up with brilliant spinning white wheels, red hearts, and light water drops. We were seated on the east side of the Indian River and looking toward the shore line of Melbourne, the horizon was peppered also with smaller displays from homes and groups of people expressing their excitement over the 4th of July holiday.
But what makes it special to us each year is the fact that we are free to celebrate our country’s independence as a nation and free to worship as we feel without fear of reprisal. We have always had this freedom so we cannot begin to understand how someone living in the bonds of fear and cruelty must be in constant dread of persecution.
And we ask, “Why God, do we have this freedom? And why do we sometimes see these freedoms slipping away from us Americans?” Could it be that we have forgotten to thank God daily for our very lives? We have forgotten those who gave their lives that we might be free, all the way back to the Minute Men. God says, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).
I thought about this as I watched the fireworks. The sky was especially dark that night, with lots of cumulus clouds, no moon, no stars. As the sky lit up with brilliant colors in front of the clouds, behind them were flashes of lightning above. Dark clouds with lightning (but no thunder) as though God was framing in man’s man-made brilliance. “He unleashes his lightning [around] the whole heaven, and sends it to the end of the earth” (Job 37:3, 4a). He was replying with, “You think your show is great? Look what I can do.” We sat there speechless.
Today I went in to Computer Experts to pick up my computer after having it serviced and my wife told the young man about the spectacular 4th of July fireworks show we had. He replied, “I have never seen lightning behind the fireworks before. It must have been beautiful.”
“Yes, Harry, it was.” God was showing us that whatever man can produce, God can make it more spectacular.