07 Nov Election season: How to have perspective.
“The welfare of God’s kingdom is not dependent on the election of this Kingdom.”
This election season has proven exhausting and mostly discouraging if I am honest with you. Laura spoke last week on not giving up – and I’d like to offer you some perspective.
There is no denying the personal impact this election has. For some, it is a referendum on the color of their skin and their place as citizens in our communities. For others, it is a referendum on life, the sanctity of it, in fact, the very definition of it. For many, there are fiscal and social policies in play that have a direct effect on their quality of life and how they provide for their families.
For me, the wife of an Army pilot, I watch on television two people jockeying for the position of Commander-in-Chief, seemingly full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. These people, whose authority and power stream across airwaves, trickling down levels of bureaucracy and rank until it pools on two sheets of cheap paper ordering my husband off to war. These people, whose knowledge includes nothing of time in uniform, whose goodbyes never carried the scent of sweat and blood, of sacrifice. And oh, I am sick and tired.
These are difficult times for all. And when I turn away in fear, in weariness, and yes, sometimes, disgust, I retreat to the Word of truth and take comfort in the Sovereignty of God.
Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God (Romans 13:1).
These people, whom I selfishly disdain, are God-appointed, and still, I am a citizen of this beloved country. So I pray for their salvation. I plead for grace and wisdom – mine and theirs. And I vote. I seek out knowledge of the law under which I live and a government in which I serve. I vote my conscience, and yes, sometimes I even vote my fatigue.
And, when heaven and earth are laid before me, and I wrestle wearily with the things of men, my battered heart takes note of what my Heavenly citizenship entails.
“Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God” (1 Peter 2:13-16).
I set about to serve a Shepherd who loves us well and sends us into the world to care for the least among us, unbound by borders, language barriers, and cultural divides. And our small lives living the truth of the gospel bind together in harmony, a heavenly chorus rising in concert to silence the ignorance of foolish men.
A friend just wrote on Facebook, “Let’s defy a toxic election cycle by showing our children how to show up and love their communities.”
I second that. Oh, how I second that. We can’t erase the dialogue of the last year, but we can model for our children what it looks like to honor God’s Kingdom while fulfilling our responsibilities in this one. We clothe ourselves in temperance, recognizing the Imago Dei in those who disagree with us, and treating them as one who Christ died for, the same as you or I. Collectively, we can silence the ignorance, hate, and divisiveness.
And, oh, friends, the freedom of serving the Architect of the very Universe – the Namer and Counter of stars – means we don’t need to know how or where, or even when the quiet comes.
Beloved, as you wrestle with the weight of the world – of war and peace, of politics, of government, and of freedom – build your foundation in the Word of truth and take comfort in the Sovereignty of God. Live each moment in obedience to His command:
“Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king” (1 Peter 2:17).
Prayers for us all tomorrow.
*top quote from our pastor at McLean Presbyterian, James Forsyth.