This year I will have voted in 10 presidential elections. The first was in 1980 when, as a newly-registered 19-year-old, I made my way to the tiny balloting building in our rural Pennsylvania town and proudly voted for Ronald Reagan. I was a baby Christian and was completely swept up in the excitement of the Moral Majority movement. We were out to change our culture for the better. Victory was sweet!
After twelve years of Republican presidents, it was almost impossible to believe that we would ever have a Democrat president again.
On Election Day 1992, my best friend and I watched in disbelief as Bill Clinton won the race for the presidency. We cried together that night. We were afraid. We both had young children. What was going to become of their country?
Twenty-four years later, I look back on huge changes in my country and very few of them are what we normally think of as good. People who seem to hate the United States and her traditional values are now our elected leaders. People who are intent on taking away our freedoms are fighting to be elected. More and more of the voters are agreeing with them without understanding or even caring about the ramifications of the agendas of these politicians. And even worse, we have two candidates, but many of us don’t want either one of them to take the reins of the greatest country in the world – my country.
Listening to talk radio is a torment. Watching the debate? I didn’t even consider it.It’s just too much.
When I look back on the decay of the last fourteen years, I can’t help but wonder what the next fourteen will bring. How much worse will it get?
Pretty depressing, right?
That’s when it helps to be a children’s Bible teacher. I know…what does that have to do with anything?
I’ve already mentioned in a previous post that I am teaching our 3rd and 4th grade Wednesday night class the questions and answers of the New City Catechism. A couple of weeks ago we studied Question 2 – “What is God?” The children’s version of the answer is very simple – “God is the creator of everyone and everything.” However, the adult version is much more detailed.
“What is God?
“God is the creator and sustainer of everyone and everything. He is eternal, infinite, and unchangeable in his power and perfection, goodness and glory, wisdom, justice and truth. Nothing happens except through him and by his will.”
Take a minute and look back at the individual words of that answer – words that describe our God. Eternal…infinite…unchangeable…power…perfection…goodness…glory…wisdom…justice…truth. This is your God. This is the One who created and sustains all things. And it is only by His will that anything at all happens in our world.
Even the last twenty-four years.
I have to say that is a mystery to me. I think it is meant to be a mystery to me. I am so not like God – how could it be anything other than a mystery?
But even in the mysteriousness of these truths I am comforted. Do we really want a God who can be easily explained?
Listen to John Wesley’s prayer quoted in the New City Catechism.
“I believe, O sovereign Goodness, O mighty Wisdom, that thou dost sweetly order and govern all things, even the most minute, even the most noxious, to thy glory, and the good of those that love thee. I believe, O Father of the families of heaven and earth, that thou so disposest all events as may best magnify thy goodness to all thy children, especially those whose eyes wait upon thee. I most humbly beseech thee, teach me to adore all thy ways, though I cannot comprehend them; teach me to be glad that thou art king, and to give thee thanks for all things that befall me; seeing that thou hast chosen that for me, and hast thereby ‘set to thy seal that they are good.’ And for that which is to come, give me thy grace to do in all things what pleaseth thee; and then, with an absolute submission to thy wisdom, to leave the issues of them in thy hand.”
I have no idea what will be the result of the 2016 election, but I am not expecting a human leader to change anything or to do anything unless it has been ordained by my God. And because I know who He is, I can trust Him with whatever He has ordained.
Photography from Unsplash