I remember the first violin lesson I had after George W. won his first term of presidency. My teacher was so despondent about the results of the election that she said she didn't see how any of us were going to survive with such an idiot in office for four years. I remember the comment because I'd become politically aware during the Clinton years and had very much hoped for Bush Jr. to win; I did, however, remember how it felt to have Clinton win his second term in office. Disappointing - but I hadn't been despairing about it, either. So I sort of understood how she felt but not quite. I pointed it out to her and she said something else I haven't forgotten: "Well, you don't understand because you're just more passive than I am: I believe in actually doing something about problems I see!"
With every election, that comment comes back to me. Not because I was stung into action by her words, but because no matter how firm my opinion about current political events, there's always something lurking in the back of my mind that makes both wins and losses more matter-of-fact to me than other people I know who are fascinated by politics. I believe God is always in charge. Always. And he is good.
And he is the God who uses talking donkeys to make a point and calls an invading pagan king, "My servant."
‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: This is what you shall say to your masters: “It is I who by my great power and my outstretched arm have made the earth, with the men and animals that are on the earth, and I give it to whomever it seems right to me. Now I have given all these lands into the hand of Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, my servant, and I have given him also the beasts of the field to serve him. All the nations shall serve him and his son and his grandson, until the time of his own land comes. Then many nations and great kings shall make him their slave.' (Jeremiah 27:4-7 ESV)
It probably seemed incomprehensible in those days to any of the Jewish people worshiping God that he should call the arrogant marauding barbarian Nebuchadnezzar "my servant" and should show him favor. But God is always the one who allows or ordains leaders to gain power. Not necessarily because they are holy or because he sanctions their wickedness or beliefs, but because he has a Plan: and the Plan calls for specific people to be in control at specific times.
I believed that when Bill Clinton and George W. were in charge. I believed it when Barak Obama won his first term. I believe it now.
Does that mean I don't stick to my philosophy of life or that I'll vote for an incumbent president no matter what because, "Well, God put him there..."? No. I always vote for, as my brother Aaron puts it, "the person who most closely believes what I believe to be right." That might mean out of two guys running, one of them is only a fraction closer to my beliefs of right and wrong: but it does make it a lot easier to vote. I never vote for "the perfect candidate" but make the best choice I can between the options presented. And then I say, "Well, Lord, I answered the question as best I could and I'm glad you're deciding the end result."
Which means I feel no bitterness when the candidate I didn't vote for wins. I might say, "Uh oh. We're in for it now." But I don't despair. After all, King Herod was no joy of a leader and God chose him to be in charge when his own son was born; not to mention Julius Caesar and the Roman Empire. A little reading on the history of that time makes our complaints about higher taxes look pretty piddly, to be honest.
Of course, I'm not sure what I would've done back during the Revolutionary War days. I hope I would've said, "Yes, God places Kings in charge; but he also removes them and it looks like we're going to be a tool to do that."
But those days are not now. I firmly contributed my opinion about who should be in charge of this country and I do have to admit I'm disappointed that's not what God had in mind. But I'm sure glad he's the one ultimately deciding and I do believe whatever things come up in the next four years, it's part of the Plan. Yes, higher taxes and giving Israel the cold shoulder and being ever-more-consistently being labeled a "religious right wacko" and all. If that makes me passive, than I suppose I am. Still, I'm glad I'm continuing to have joy in life regardless of what leader happens to be in charge. Because the leader of the Kingdom I belong to doesn't change and I have every confidence he's got this, no matter what comes next.
Wife of Benjamin and mother to two wonderful little girls who are getting bigger every day. Enjoys writing down thoughts and discussions we are having within the family and sharing them with whoever is interested in reading.
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