A Nation Bringing Forth Fruit
Posted July 2, 2008
This last week Doyle asked my daughter if she would be willing to travel on the Fourth of July to Indiana with Candace and play the drums during worship. Doyle then asked me if anyone in my family was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution. I shared with him how my grandmother had been a charter member. Since that time God has been ministering to me about my family’s history and I believe it is right to share that with you.
People from my family have been in this country since the 1600’s. I have been taught as a young child about my background, how they were some of the first to settle Pennsylvania and how some lost everything in war and yet would start over. My ancestors have fought in every war since the King Philip’s war in 1675, several of them in the American Revolution. These were ordinary, hardworking people. They were soldiers and farmers and factory workers. But what I saw in those stories and those family members I had the pleasure to meet were that these people had strength of character.
One of these people in my background, Edward Doty, came over on the Mayflower and was a signer of the Mayflower Compact. He was in his early 20’s when he arrived here and an indentured servant. If you grew up in our education system you were taught about the pilgrims almost every Thanksgiving holiday and how they came to the new land and before leaving their ship wrote up a document that would govern them while they began their new settlement. This document was one of the forefronts to our Constitution. God led me this morning to read an excerpt from one of their own, Edward Winslow, who in answering some accusations, wrote down how the pilgrims left England and Holland and come to America. It ministered to me.
From “Hypocrisy Unmasked” by Edward Winslow (London, 1646):
"Now these their private thoughts (Reverend Mr. John Robinson of late memory, and our grave Elder Mr. William Brewster) now upon mature deliberation they imparted to the brethren of the congregation, which after much private discussion came to public agitation, till at the length the Lord was solemnly sought in the congregation by fasting and prayer to direct us, who moving our hearts more and more to the work, we sent some of good abilities over into England to see what favor or acceptance such a thing might find with the King. These also found God going along with them, and got Sir Edwin Sandys a religious Gentleman then living, to stir in it, who procured Sir Robert Naunton then principal Secretary of State to King James of famous memory, to move his majesty by a private motion to give way to such a people (who could not so comfortably live under the government of another State) to enjoy their liberty of conscience under his gracious protection in America, where they would endeavor the advancement of His Majesty’s Dominions, and the enlargement of the Gospel by all due means. This His Majesty said was a good and honest motion, and asking what profit might arise in the part we intended (for our eye was upon the most northern parts of Virginia); ‘twas answered, “Fishing.” To which he replied with his ordinary asseveration, “So God have my soul, ‘tis an honest trade, ‘twas the Apostles own calling,” etc. "
Another ancestor of my family was General Baron Johann de Kalb. He was a German soldier and volunteer who served as a major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He first came to the colonies as a spy for France to determine the level of discontent among the colonists toward Brittan. During the trip he gained a respect for the colonists and their "spirit of independence." In 1777 he returned again with his protégé, Marquis de Lafayette, and joined the Continental Army. He was at Valley Forge for most of the 1777-78 winter. He became second in command of the Maryland and Delaware troops under General Gates. He fell at the battle of Camden, South Carolina after leading several charges and being wounded 11 times. He died three days later as a prisoner of war. It was reported as the surgeons were dressing his wounds that he replied "I thank you sir for your generous sympathy, but I die the death I always prayed for, the death of a soldier fighting for the rights of man.*
On Saturday, all while we were worshiping, God talked to me about the history of our nation. He ministered how it was He that instilled strength and fortitude in our forefathers and how he sustained them against insurmountable odds to create and preserve this country. He walked me through some of the events that I had read or heard about and showed me how his Spirit kept them alive and obtained His will for this land. He then ministered how this strength was in my family and how he had put it in my children.
Am I proud of my heritage? No, I am humbled. I am humbled that the Spirit of God saw fit to preserve a people and nation. My family and other’s like them were used to create and uphold this country so that many others like them could minister the Power of God. I know my heritage will mean nothing to me or give no honor to them if I and my children don’t preach this Gospel.
Sunday between services I was reading and praying at home and asked God, Why? What was your purpose in my family and family’s like us enduring all the hardship? The Spirit of God led me to Matthew and powerfully ministered to me these words that Jesus spoke while he was on earth:
“Therefore say I unto you, The
kingdom of God shall be taken from you, (Israel) and given to a nation
bringing forth the fruits thereof. (Matthew 21:43)”
This country, our country, is the nation Jesus is speaking about. What an honor! That He would create a nation that is made up of every people on our earth and grant them the grace and opportunity to preach His Gospel. Whether or not our forefathers knew of God’s intent, it is not important. What is important is that His will was done. And now we are a part of a generation that will show forth His praises and bring forth fruit.
Originally posted on Kathie's webpage.