Growing up, I hated history.
Maybe hate is too strong a word, but I certainly didn’t care much—if at all. History was about the past, while my main concern was the present and the future.
So I memorized whatever text I was handed, made the grade, and flushed it from my mind as quickly as possible. But now I realize that history matters. It matters because it informs us about our heritage, gives us big-picture perspective, and actually influences our current and coming trajectories.
As George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
We’re exactly one month and two days away from the 2016 presidential election. The media is saturated with breaking news, plot twists, and dramatic articles/posts/tweets about the Trump vs. Hillary commotion—like it’s an Olympic sport or the latest reality show.
And though voting for the next President of the United States is certainly a big deal, I personally wish these little debates were less like two toddlers fighting over one piece of bubblegum and more like actual grownup conversations (but, hey, whatever man).
Before we go on, let me say this: If you’re not a Christian—if you don’t consider yourself a Jesus follower—please know you’re not expected to agree with this post, or even to keep reading, but you are absolutely welcome in this space. It’s entirely your decision and legal right to worship, or to not worship, whomever you choose. God has never forced anyone to believe Him or to follow Him, so I certainly won’t hold a Bible to your head. We might view this topic through different lenses, but we can still like each other, drink coffee together, and listen to one another’s varying observations like decent human beings. 🙂
And for those of us who believe Jesus to be the predicted and resurrected Messiah, we should probably remember a few things:
First, ONLY GOD IS GOD.
Not a country. Not a nation. Not a government. Not a president. Not a particular political party. Our hope has never been in the ever-changing systems of mortal man, but in the unchanging character of an eternal, just, and righteous God.
I love our country! I love the eclectic mix of people in our country! I’m so proud to be a United States citizen for a million wonderful reasons! I’m grateful for religious freedom! I bleed red, white, and blue (also orange—Go Pokes)! But my ultimate allegiance belongs to Jesus Christ.
As political tensions continue to stretch the foundations of our nation, I’ve noticed something interesting: These candidates (and all people ever) are mortal and flawed, yet we seem to have an invisible craving for a good and worthy leader. Because who exactly are we looking for? Someone who’s honest and noble. Respectable and authentic. Powerful yet humble. Strong but also gentle. Trustworthy and real. A righteous judge and a people’s advocate. A frontline warrior who’s not afraid to fight for the overexploited and underprivileged. Selfless, loyal, generous, wise.
That person sounds a lot like Jesus—who’s the rightful heir to an everlasting throne which will eventually display God’s unbridled greatness and authority throughout the earth.
“Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself.” (Revelation 19:11-12)
Second, GOD ISN’T SURPRISED.
Good news! God already knows who the next president will be and what their four or eight years in office will entail. He knows the battles we’ll encounter, the struggles we’ll face, and is already weaving His ways into the final draft of eternity.
If history has shown us anything, it’s the continuous cycle of mankind: Know God. Forget God. Suffer consequences due to rebellion. Repent into His gracious arms. And repeat.
We can breathe a big sigh of relief knowing God isn’t surprised by anything. By ANYTHING, y’all. He not only holds the blueprints, but He also invented them. He’s not panicked or worried or scared or losing sleep over this election (partially because He never sleeps, but also because He’s God).
Now, this absolutely does not give us permission to opt out or be lazy. We should actively engage our voting rights, our local governments, and just about anything we can possibly touch. I hope and pray we have a slew of believers on the front lines in Washington and throughout this great land. God has always used His people to accomplish His purposes!
“I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient time, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.” (Isaiah 46:10)
Third, NOTHING CAN MESS UP HIS PLAN.
God doesn’t fit into politics; politics fit into God’s sovereign design.
Over thousands of years, kings and judges and rulers and dictators and presidents and those in charge—both good and bad—have reigned, ruled, and eventually died. God moved through people like Moses, Abraham, David, Peter, and Paul, but even Pharaoh’s hard heart was used as a means to display His glory.
“He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings; he gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding.” (Daniel 2:21)
Our faith isn’t held together by whoever sits in the oval office. Our hope doesn’t rest on the man or woman who’s voted in as commander in chief. Our joy isn’t dependent on anything other than Jesus.
REGARDLESS, He will make a way. Not all things are good, but He can use all things for His ultimate good. No matter what our country faces—or what we face in our personal lives—we can know that He’s a trustworthy King.
SO WHAT CAN WE DO RIGHT NOW?
Interestingly enough, we can do the EXACT SAME THINGS we’re already called to—no matter the political hype: Love God; love people (“even the creepy ones,” as Bob Goff says). These are our marching orders, friends.
We can pray for the leaders and future leaders of our country. We can exercise our beautiful and privileged rights. We can refuse to be divided because of something like party affiliation. We can be salt and light in our very own circles. Most of all, we can look to Him—and trust that He is working.
“…As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)