Thursday, May 11, 2017

Reading The Revolutionary Letters Of John Adams

Lately, I have been looking at the life of John Adams. A founding father of the United States. One of the five men who drafted the Declaration of Independence. The second President of the United States and father of the sixth President. He wore many hats actually.

I'm at the point where I am reading the correspondence between him and his wife before and during the war for independence. In a way, it feels strange reading someone else's mail. If these people were still around it would be an invasion of privacy but because they are historical figures, who saved the letters in part to preserve a time that was fading from the public memory during their own lifetime, I feel more justified.

John Adams was a farmer and a lawyer and the idea of revolution was a scary one. They weren't rich people and there is little monetary compensation during a revolution. Freedom from tyranny would have it's payoff later for some. Others would lose fortunes. This family relied heavily on the income from their farm and that meant Abigail and the children needed to work hard and live in a frugal way.

They knew people would die and just one death was such a high cost but the felt as a colony their backs were up against a wall and they were left with few choices. Buckle under or revolt.

They were brave people. They trusted in God. The Hollywood accounts don't show or emphasize that but they were people of faith. Not all the founding father were but they were.

Here are a few passages that come to mind this morning...

"I am for peace, but when I speak, they are for war!" - Psalm 120:7 ESV

"So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, 'If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.' " - John 8:31-32 ESV

Liberty is worth the struggle but the choices are rarely easy that is true on a national and a personal level.

We all have personal struggles. Health. Finances. Relationship. Dreams that seem far from realization. Reading these letters reminds me that others have struggled and prevailed. Freedom is rare in this world but God wants us to be free. He has provisions for those who seek freedom for themselves and others.

The Apostle Paul could say this...

"For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing." - 2 Timothy 4:6-8 ESV

Jesus has won the war and has reconcilied God and mankind. What about our battles? Does His victory reach that far? It can. We can possess the freedom that is already ours.

John and Abigail Adams let truth guide their decision making. They valued human dignity and took a stand at great cost. Will we do the same?


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