I learned something new this week. You may already know this and perhaps I had at one time and just forgot but, did you know that Cinco de Mayo celebrates the Mexican army victory over the superior French forces on May 5, 1862, in the Battle of Puebla?
The Mexican forces were outnumbered, outgunned, and not as well trained, but were able to defeat the French army, which was considered one of the best in the world. An outnumbered Mexican army led by Ignacio Zaragoza, (who was a 33 yr. old Texan) defeated the invading French forces at the small town of Puebla de Los Angeles during the Franco-Mexico War. The retreat of the French troops represented a great victory for the people of Mexico, symbolizing the country’s ability to defend its sovereignty against a powerful foreign nation. It was a great moral victory for Mexico and gave them hope, determination, and encouragement to fight against the French and to eventually be victorious.
According to Wikipedia Cinco de Mayo was first celebrated in the US by Mexican miners in California and has been celebrated continuously since 1863 in the US emphasizing Mexican culture, music, and food.
In Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is not as much a celebration but more a day of remembrance, commemorating Mexico’s victory over the French during the Battle of Puebla.
While the typical Cinco de Mayo celebrations may focus on margaritas & tacos I believe there is a great spiritual lesson for us on this day. We too can make it a Day of Remembrance. We can remember how God can empower us to triumph when we feel outnumbered and less powerful than the problems we are facing in life.
Although Cinco de Mayo is not a religious holiday, we can remember to pray for those we know, our families, and perhaps ourselves who need God’s power in face of overwhelming odds.
I invite you to pray this with me today. I think it is a good way for us to begin our Cinco de Mayo celebration!
God of all nations, tongues, and tribes I come to you today on Cinco de Mayo to pray. I pray for my family, friends, loved ones, and even myself as we face times of struggle against forces that are much bigger than our own strength and power. We shall remember the account of David and Goliath and how David defeated the giant with a single stone and a slingshot. May we have David’s confidence and trust in you like when he said, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.” (I Samuel 17:32 NIV) In prayer now I pray for increased strength, encouragement, and faith to fight with the Sword of the Lord, the Word of God, and not give up in the battle because we fear we are not strong enough. Help us instead to proclaim with David, “You come against me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty…This day the Lord will hand you over to me …and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel…for the battle is the Lord’s.” (I Samuel 17:45,46,47)
I thank you, God, that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13). In my personal life, in the battles and struggles I and my family, and loved ones are facing, I declare and swing the Sword of the Lord proclaiming over my life, my family, and friends these promises from your Word.
Luke 1:37 For nothing will be impossible with God.
Mark 9:23 And Jesus said to him, “‘If You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.”
Mark 10:27 Looking at them, Jesus *said, “With people, it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.”
Matthew 17:20 And He said to them, “Because of the littleness of your faith; for truly I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.
Isaiah 41:10 ‘Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’
Glory to God! May the Sword of the Lord and the power of the Name of Jesus defeat every enemy and bring us victory in the battle. Father, I thank you that you are helping us today who need your protection, strength, and encouragement. Amen.
As you watch or join in the joyous celebrations of Cinco de Mayo remember the goodness of your God, and that His salvation and presence are with you in the face of all earthly troubles past, present, and future.