To me, the world of politics has always been a fascinating one. Since high school, I have enjoyed learning about the election process and the ways in which our country is governed. In college, I took classes where I studied political theories and the psychology and motivations that drive us to make certain political decisions. I’ve watched candidate debates as if they were sporting events, rewinding and replaying crucial moments and staying up way past my bedtime to hear the post-game analysis. And to me, watching election results pour in on live television has always been riveting.
Until now. This year, things are different.
This year, my fascination has been replaced with disdain. This year, more people than ever before joined me to watch our two presidential candidates debate the issues, only to see a cheap, sorry excuse for intelligent discourse on American democracy.
This campaign season, it seems as though we, the people, have lost at every turn. We’ve lost the ability to disagree without anger and personal attacks. We’ve lost confidence in our democratic system to elect a qualified, reliable leader. And most tragically, we’ve lost sight of our own humanity. We’ve been so focused on attacking and defeating the other side that we’ve forgotten that the other side is made up of people — broken, sinful people searching for answers— just like us.
And now, it all comes down to this. All of the mudslinging and name-calling and finger-pointing have been leading up to this day. It’s a day that should feel patriotic and exciting, but for most of us, it just feels sad. We wear our “I voted” stickers with uncertainty, and we’re left wondering, somewhat fearfully and begrudgingly, “Where do we go from here?”
I would be lying if I told you that I wasn’t writing this with a knot in my stomach. Even still, I think we have a reason to take heart and feel hopeful. In a recent article, Christian author Max Lucado had this to say about what happens next:
“I know exactly what November 9th will bring. Another day of God’s perfect sovereignty. He will still be in charge. His throne will still be occupied. He will still manage the affairs of the world. Never before has His providence depended on a king, president or ruler. And it won’t on November 9, 2016.”
Now, if that’s not the best news you’ve heard all day, I don’t know what is.
It’s likely that we’ve all heard variations of this idea throughout this election season. But most of them sound something like, “Well, if we lose this election, at least God will still be God,” as if the sovereignty of our Creator is some sort of consolation prize or something to fall back on in a worst-case scenario.
That, of course, couldn’t be further from the truth. Our God has never been nor will He ever be a consolation prize. He is the prize. His rule is not something to fall back on when we dislike or disagree with the rulers of our nation; rather, His wisdom is perfect, and precedes and surpasses all leaders, everywhere, every time. He is the beginning, middle and end and his victory has already been decided—no election required.
So today, I’m choosing to rest in God’s perfect, unchanging sovereignty. No ifs, ands or buts…just Him.
When we wake up tomorrow morning and feel the shift in the guidance of our country, let’s choose to remember the One who hasn’t shifted. Rather than bemoaning the results or predicting our own demise, let’s choose to find joy in something far greater. Let’s finally come to the realization that scathing, malicious Facebook posts never change anyone’s mind, but only result in division and animosity. And let’s choose instead to speak and write and type words that are grace-filled and hopeful and rooted in the desire to unify, rebuild and love. Let’s decide that people—God’s greatest and most profound creation—are more important than opinions, and that introducing them to the Father is worth far more than introducing them to our views on American politics.
Tomorrow is a big day. It feels as if the whole world is watching and waiting with bated breath to see how we’ll respond to the news. We’re all eager to see how our friends and co-workers and social media acquaintances will react to their victory or defeat. Will the winners gloat and boast and continue to attack the opposition, even as they wear the crown? Will the losers whine and lash out like a child who’s forced to leave the toy store empty handed? Both are likely. But there’s another option.
Tomorrow morning, win or lose, we can speak and act with uninhibited joy. Tomorrow, we can hope and trust and cast uncertainty aside. Why? Because tomorrow, just like every other day that ever has been and ever will be, God will remain perfectly sovereign, perfectly in control and perfectly on His throne.
Friends, I love this country. I consider it one of my greatest blessings to live and work and grow here, and believe it is a great privilege to have a voice in how we as a people are governed and led. But if this campaign season and all its crazy have taught me anything, it’s that I’m far more thankful for and secure in my citizenship in heaven. So tomorrow, I’ll strive—albeit imperfectly—to live and speak in light of that. I hope you’ll join me.
Until next time,