Friday, July 15, 2016

Election Dis-Ease

I fully agree with this assessment - The Dis-ease of the Presidential Race by Janel Barr
In the last couple of months, the candidates for the 2016 presidential race have narrowed from a wide range to just two presumptive candidates. From initial shock to utter disbelief, a range of emotions has surfaced with the realization of who is still left in this race. Of all of the feelings that are surfacing, the most pressing is my discomfort.

I am uncomfortable with voting for either candidate.
I am uncomfortable with their records.
I am uncomfortable with the trajectory of our country.
I am uncomfortable with the future awaiting my three young children.

In all of my frustrations, disappointment, and disbelief, the only thing that I am comfortable with is knowing that this is exactly where God wants me — uncomfortable.
We Have No Lasting City Here

Sure, like most Americans, I had a “guy” that I wanted to win, one that my husband and I even supported financially. And like most Americans, I was still hopeful that “my guy” would win and change things around. My hopes weren’t met, but I was putting my hope in the wrong place, in a person.

This is not an article about which candidate to vote for, or about whether or not we should vote at all in this year’s election. This is a reminder that if you, like me, are uncomfortable with our only options, this is where the Lord wants us to be and this is what he wants us to feel. Scripture reminds us that this is not our home (Philippians 3:20), that we are sojourners and exiles (Hebrews 11:13), and that our hope is not ultimately in this world.

“Here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come” (Hebrews 13:14).
Free Citizens of Heaven

When I live my daily life in a state of comfort — in my marriage, my parenting, my regular routine — I am often not looking to Jesus and leaning on Jesus. I am not mindful of the mission he’s given me. The Christian life was never meant to be comfortable and carefree. Jesus did not die for my earthly comfort.

There is great hope laid out for any Christian uncomfortable with the November election because our hope is in Jesus. Our discomfort is a fresh reminder of the work that is still needed in this lost and hurting world: our charge to share the good news with our neighbors and co-workers (even those with differing political views).

Elections can sometimes feel like a renewal, a kind of rebirth for citizens. But for the Christian, our hope will never be fulfilled in the “perfect candidate.” Our King is Jesus and our citizenship is in heaven. Our loyalty to him far exceeds any loyalty we have to a president or to our country. I love America and the values on which she was built. I am forever thankful for our freedoms, secured and protected at great cost. But this is a temporary home for me, and my ultimate hope and allegiance lie elsewhere.
Pray for Our Leaders

My discomfort pushes me to do four things: to pray, to trust, to share, and to hope. My four-year-old loves Old Testament stories of bravery and courage — David slew the giant, Gideon led an army of a few men, Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den. These are real stories, with real characters, no fiction added, and relevant for Christians in America today.

Our current events are reminders that all our circumstances are ordained by God’s good hand and plan. Daniel’s example of standing firm against a rule of law instills us with courage to pray. Having heard about new and oppressive laws threatening his freedom to worship God, Daniel prayed, “as he had done previously” (Daniel 6:10). Things had changed in his nation, but nothing changed in Daniel’s heart, his passion and commitment to follow the Lord. And nothing should change in ours.

This presidential race leads me to pray for our country, our leaders, both local and national, and on both sides of the aisle. It puts my trust back in the One who should have all my trust. Our trust as Christians lies in the one who “reigns over the nations” (Psalm 47:8), not just over the United States.
Our Hope and the Harvest
When my trust is in the Lord and not in a presidential candidate, I know I will never be disappointed. As long as we have breath, we are called to go to the nations and share the gospel (Matthew 28:19). If I was really comfortable with where this country was headed, would I feel the same urgency and freedom to go? Probably not.

“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain” (1 Corinthians 15:58). For the Christian that is left feeling uncomfortable with the upcoming presidential election, our hope is secure and the harvest is plentiful.