What I Think I Learned This Election

I’m not a very political man. I have my opinions based on my values; but I do not enjoy discussing politics with others. I find that those types of conversations tend to cloud my vision of the person behind the conversations. It’s more difficult for me to see the person behind the politics. At any rate, I think I have gained some insight and wisdom through this year’s election.

After voting I went home with migraine and took a nap. As I was settling for rest, I began to pray. Every election I pray that my candidates will win. This year, however, I found myself praying something different. I simply prayed, “Lord, be glorified.” Paul’s letter to the Romans came to mind. “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God’ (Romans 13:1). God is sovereign. Yes, we vote. Yes, we express ourselves in a respectful manner to our governmental representatives. Yes, we actively seek to be at peace with our neighbors who hold to different ideals. But in the end, we have to accept that His “thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:8-9, ESV). God has actively made plans for our good! “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11, ESV). When all is said and done, God IS sovereign. If we trust Him with our body, soul and spirit, then we should trust Him with our country.

I turned off my television before any of the elections that I was following were called. Once again I found myself praying. This time, however, I was praying a prayer of repentance. God showed me that my prayers have been focused in the wrong place. Instead of praying for this or that candidate to win (that is, asking God for MY will to be done on earth), I should genuinely begin (and continue!) to pray for our governmental officials. If I spent half as much time praying as I do lamenting over the leadership of our nation, perhaps my time would be better spent. Perhaps I would begin to see where God’s hand is at work. Perhaps I would see hearts and minds changed in our leaders. And maybe God’s blessings would increase in our nation again.

Change in our nation begins not with an election, but with you and me. That’s what I think I learned this election.

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