- - Tuesday, November 17, 2015

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

We’ve sought answers amid shifting cultural sands, flighty influences, and perpetual disappointments in politicians and public policy. People ask me all the time, “I want a happy, productive life for me and my country, but what can we do? What is the answer?” Well, the answer is within your grasp.

First, look back at our foundation.

Inland from the rocky shores welcoming our nation’s first settlers were towering evergreen trees and white pines soaring 250 feet in the air, solidly rooted to support their enormous girth. This massive find of a healthy natural resource was better than striking gold. The evergreens would be put to good use to build and heat homes, lay trails, and build rugged ship masts for maritime shipping and a future navy.

Our Founders responsibly utilized the timber until Great Britain passed a law that claimed the trees for the English government. When the Crown prohibited hardworking colonists from using what God had provided, resentment grew along with determination to fight for what was right. The evergreen was partially responsible for the Revolution.

George Washington commanded the Continental Army under a flag featuring an evergreen and the words “An Appeal to Heaven.”



When government takes something from red-blooded patriots, it sure doesn’t sit well. Our government has taken more than trees from all of us.

In my frequent travels across the country, I meet so many good people and see a familiar look in their eyes. Many Americans sense that our exceptional nation we know and love is changing so fast it might become unrecognizable. They experience a sinking feeling after watching the news, they accurately believe their religious freedom is under attack, they see government run amok, and they dread knowing that values held near and dear might soon become relics of a time gone by.

While many wring hands and wonder where our freedom has gone, true freedom — the kind that can’t be taken away — is well within reach. In the pages of Scripture, God gives instruction on how to live during these tumultuous times, and assures us we’re here for a great purpose, for such a time as this.

Christian writer G.K. Chesterton was asked, “What is the greatest problem with the world?”

He responded simply, “I am.”

Honestly, that’s where the battle is fought — in the heart and mind of every one of us.

Answers to personal and political struggles can’t be found in the next “great” politician, in any self-exalting self-help seminar or in the next cultural trend. We can passionately protest, picket and vote our way to protect constitutional freedoms, but as much as these are imperatively part of civic life, the answer to true freedom relies on a different sort of excitement. Within the pages of the Bible you can find what you need to confirm your commitment to live life well and vibrantly, along with the blueprint to secure the deeply American principles of justice, faith and freedom.

My family and I have been through a lot. Surely you have too; many are dealing with enormously more devastating trials than I could imagine. But there is no way to overcome our problems with our own strength and understanding. Man is a fallen creature. We’re tempted to live self-centeredly. But if we do, we’ll end up doubled over by life’s gut punches. I’m right there with you, certainly never setting up either myself or my family as “holier than thou.” (We’re really just a normal family, always banding together, no matter what … and a lot of those “whats,” accurately reported or not, unfortunately get splashed across tabloid headlines.) We recognize our profound weakness and know that our faith, certainly not our own might and power, is the only thing pulling us through trials.

But this is the secret: When I am weak then I am strong. Hear me on this. When we give up “self,” we create a vacuum that can be filled by God’s omnipotence. It means God can take every dart and arrow aimed your way, all the mocking and negative words spewed, every struggle and pitfall pushing you to the edge, every battle you never asked for but are forced to fight … and in His strength we become victorious.

The key is inside. So hang in there and don’t let weariness knock you down. There’s an appointed time for breakthrough; what you’re going through is preparation for something greater. All the hurtful things on the periphery can stay right there — on the outside of your core being — when you focus on God and what He would have you do. Don’t give up; the only surrendering we’re going to do is to “let go and let God” by acknowledging our inabilities and appealing to heaven to grant the victory. Persevere.

Sarah Palin is a former Republican governor of Alaska and vice presidential candidate, and the author of “Sweet Freedom” (Regnery Faith, 2015).

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