Yesterday was Juneteenth. It goes by many names: Juneteenth National Independence Day, Emancipation Day, Freedom Day, Jubilee Day and Black Independence Day. But regardless what you call it, the importance of the day remains the same: It celebrates the African American culture and the end of slavery on June 19, 1865, two and half years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863.
The enforcement of the Proclamation depended on the Union Troops spreading the word. Union Army General Gordon Granger proclaimed freedom for enslaved people in Texas, which was the last Confederate State recognizing institutional slavery.
Juneteenth became a state holiday in 1980 and a federal holiday last year when President Joe Biden signed it into law. It was the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was adopted in 1983.
Since 1866, celebrations have included of parades, marches, speeches, educational events, religious services, singing of spirituals, reading the works of Maya Angelou, family gatherings, festivals with music, food and dancing. It’s a celebration of victory.
Juneteenth reminds me of the victory we have in Christ. Each morning, we can wake up with a grateful heart, thanking God for his blessings each day regardless of what we have going on. That is victory!
When something happens or doesn’t happen in our lives, we can feel relieved and find the joyous moments, no matter what. That is victory!
God forgives the sins of all who trust and believe in Christ’s resurrection. Through faith and God’s grace, our sins are wiped away. Through Christ, we have forgiveness and can release feelings of resentment. God gave us victory over sin and death!
Juneteenth reminds me to be patient. Life can be hard, and some days, we may want to give up. But God has a plan. The things you want to happen tomorrow may not happen until 10 years from now. Trust in God’s plan. Keep the faith and keep praying.
If you know that all things are possible through Christ (Philippians 4:13), then you know it will happen for you if it’s in God’s plan. That’s why you never give up, no matter what. You will go through trials and tribulations which may cause you to question where you are going, but don’t let that deter you from moving forward. We need to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
Every morning, thank God for the things that have not happened yet and for the things that are yet to come. Have faith and trust God’s plan. Wake up in victory every day!
“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 15:57
Written by Trevia Bob, billing specialist for Buckner Retirement Services.