On the Eve of Election
Next Saturday I will celebrate my sixtieth birthday. When Cyndi asked me last summer what I wanted to do, I told her I wanted to go to Hawaii and be with her… alone. So, that’s where we are and I’m sure we are having a blast.
But when we made those plans last summer, it didn’t strike me that I would be gone at election time, nor did I have a clue how coarse and mean the campaign would become… nor how divisive. Part of me (the dutiful part that my staff likes to poke fun at) began to feel guilty that I would be away from my church family at a time of such a moment in our nation. (Not very guilty… we are talking Hawaii, after all… but a little guilty.)
But upon further reflection, I actually think my absence at this moment models something important for all of us. I have done all I can as a citizen-patriot. I spent hours researching the issues and candidates. I advocated for that which I believed to be best. I cast my ballot in a timely fashion. Most importantly, I prayed for this election and for our nation at a time when, I believe, we have never been more rudderless.
In other words, I’ve done all I can. Now, along with you, I await the results. And meantime, I go on with my life… happily, sunnily… and so should you.
Next Wednesday morning, barring another hanging chad incident, we will awaken to a new-president elect. Half of us will be unhappy, and none of us will be thrilled—it’s been that kind of election—but life will go on.
If we as Christians believe anything, we must believe that our Sovereign God is in control; that He either wills or permits all that occurs to take place according to His divine and perfect plan. Which is not to say that things will be all right; it could well be that things will get worse. It could be, honestly, that God’s will for us is a season of judgment and chastening. Given the spiritual and moral trajectory of our nation even in the last ten years, how could we be surprised if God chose to lift His hand of blessing from the United States?
But even if, after the smoke clears, all is not right… all will be well. “All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose,” Paul tells us. Even if we don’t get the election results we want—even if we face hard times because our society grows less and less hospitable to us as believers—the great, great news is that we followers of Jesus are firmly in his hand. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Greater is he that is in us than he that is in the world. All is, and always will be, well.
So, beloved, relax! Be at peace. Live! Enjoy life! And join me as we pray for our next president and the divided and bruised land that he or she will be called upon to lead:
“Heavenly and hallowed Father, as we approach election day when we choose the “leader of the Western world,” we remember that You are the leader of the West… and of the East and of the North and South. You are the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Before you, every knee—every knee—will one day bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth. Nothing catches you by surprise; nothing can vex or divert you in the fulfillment of your divine purpose for your creation. Forgive us when we place politics over prayer, thinking that our machinations are more important than the prayer of Jesus: “Thy will be done!”
And so, we pray, “Thy will be done” in this election, in this nation, in this world, in this generation… Thy will be done. Grant that we might trust you and bow before your sovereign will regardless of how our plans turn out.
Soon, either Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton will likely be the president of this land. We pray for the person whom you will permit to take that post. If they are a believer in Jesus, fill them with your Holy Spirit. If they are not a believer, surround them by your Holy Spirit and by those who love and listen to you. May they be guided by godly council. Grant them supernatural wisdom that seeks what is good and just and right for this land.
Make them generous and not greedy, honest and not deceitful, humble and not arrogant, honorable and not base, compassionate and not self-serving. May they have the courage to do what is best for this nation even if it goes against party or the powerful who have paid for access and influence. May they truly love this land, its rich legacy of faith, liberty, justice and unprecedented opportunity and blessing. May they love that legacy and fight to preserve and promote it.
Whomever you see fit to install in this office, we pray that through them, your kingdom will come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We pray these things in Jesus’ name.
Amen. And amen.
P.S. It’s always encouraging to hear how the Lord is at work throughout the world. Please join us for a light lunch Sunday after the 10:45 service in the Gathering Place to hear from Abhishek Gier, Director of Catalyst in Delhi, India. You’ll hear about Catalyst’s work in the slums of India and their newest initiative to support and stabilize girls rescued from the brothels.