Thanks Paul :-)
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
The election is over and we can, at long last, beat our political posters into plowshares. Are you content with the results? Coping with the elusive equanimity of spirit we hoped would accompany things going our way is a challenge we all must face.
Battles have their place, but the peace twixt battles must be handled harmoniously and with a serenity which fosters civility—even among those who severely disagree. The hangings in effigy, midnight beatings among neighbors, vandalism and artful digital gesticulations against pedestrian billboards must cease.
Soon (too soon for my taste) the next election will beckon us to once again participate in the process and we will all re-arm—hopefully with only thoughts and arguments, but for now we must resign to our destinies. The election is over and the people have spoken—but from a deeper perspective, God has spoken.
In a primary and ultimate sense it is God who makes kings and laws. Those kings and laws can be a blessing or they can be a curse but mere man finds the acme of contentment in knowing there is a Supreme Governor of events who declares the beginning from the end— whose counsel shall stand. To curse the results of the election is to curse the providence of God.
Is this an encouragement to call good evil or evil good? Far from it! Does it mean those who believe in a sovereign God should be passive in the affairs of this world? Certainly not! We should pursue our convictions—be they ecclesiastical, familial or political with zeal and vigor. But we are to be reassured that the world is not left to slapdash, uncertain promiscuities—as Einstein said, “God would not play dice with the universe.” God has given us just what we need—or just what we deserve.
These words may only speak to those who believe in an omnipotent Triune God—who believe God’s hand is not too short to determine election results. If that’s the case, more than half the readers will find some peace, though perhaps hoping for different results in the election. If that half finds some peace, they’ll be better neighbors and everyone benefits.
Peace of mind begins when we realize God is capable of utilizing ungodly people making ungodly decisions (I’m not saying who falls into this category) in His own incomprehensibly divine, just and glorious manner.
For example, I never would have voted for Pilate for governor. Let’s do the ciphering: If not for Pilate there would have been no conviction of Jesus—If there were no conviction of Jesus there would have been no cross—If there were no cross there would be no redemption. God had Pilate right where He wanted him. And through a negligent politician, man was emancipated from sin. I would never have voted for Pilate. But when God revealed His secret plan, I am grateful that His will and not my will was done.
It was this knowledge of God’s mighty hand that gave Joseph (the one with the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) solace when his brothers threw him in a ditch, sold him into slavery resulting in his imprisonment in Egypt. Their purpose for the treachery was evil but God meant it for good.
In the first century the followers of Jesus were about to face deadly and torturous religious and political persecution. In that hostile context Jesus said “peace be with you.” When the faithful are invited by God to peace, it’s not a ‘grin and bear it’ peace. It’s a peace recognizing the invisible hand of a good God behind all of men’s decisions—even the evil decisions.
The Apostle Peter calls his readers to honor the king. The king was Nero, the psychopathic Caesar. Peter wrote this knowing there was a King of kings, a ruler of the kings of the earth. Solomon taught that the king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, like the rivers of water; He turns it where He wishes.”
We all wish things were better. But true, unwavering peace comes through a yielding of our souls to a primary decision-maker who will not apologize for one moment of the history he’s ordained. Nothing settles the heart better than knowing there is an able Captain at the helm—a Captain who is not only capable of sailing the ship, but governing the storm. I’m hoping I can be that content person—for my neighbor’s sake.
On being content....it's what echos from my heart today.