The Spirit of a Nation

I’ll be honest.  The election and all its accompanying rhetoric have rendered me almost mute.  I’ve written many posts in my mind as I ran, only to discard them at the end of the run, like so much election babble.  I turned off the news by Friday of last week, made a graceful exit from Facebook with all its divisive (and all too often, ignorant) comments, opened up my Bible and filled my mind with God’s promises.  The anxiety that the uncertain, evil, and uneducated world has been causing me is slowly melting into a puddle at the feet of the cross.  Praise Jesus.

I’ve replaced the annoying talking heads with Joyce Meyer, Andy Stanley, and, yes, I’ll admit it, Sheldon Cooper.  If you’re a Big Bang fan, you know.  If you’re not, you should be.  Excellent anxiety medicine in the form of laughter and nonsense.  Love me some Sheldon.  He feels like an old friend.  Not sure what that says about my friends, but there it is.

I voted my values today, my sister and I took our Dad, who also voted his values, and my daughter voted her values in her very first presidential election.  Today is in the win column for me, no matter who goes into the White House in January.  Because at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter a whole lot who’s there.  God is still sovereign, even if we’ve become a nation that doesn’t recognize that.

I’m not going to make an election post.  I’m not going to tell you who you should vote for or what the issues should mean to you.  Or even what they mean to me.  I am only going to say this.  I’ve been in deep, unprecedented prayer for our nation for the last few days, and don’t intend to stop, no matter who gets elected.  Our nation is at a very frightening crossroads, and I pray that we will make the right choices, turn our faces back to God, and allow Him to heal our wounds.

A few months ago, our pastor gave a series on the things that make a church grow and those things that make one die.  One of the things that make it die hit me right between the eyes.  Division.  It didn’t hit me about our church, it struck me about our nation.  We are no longer a nation united, we seem to be divided now in ways that frighten me.  We can no longer have a difference of opinion without dissolving into screaming and obscenity and refusing to listen to any layer of compromise.  Hate has become a national watchword, but the real haters don’t even seem to know that they hate.  We can no longer call sin sin without the risk of offending someone, and indeed, being called hate mongers or worse.  When the one we are actually offending is God Himself.  We seem to have no problem doing that.  The divisiveness in our country makes me sad, and is never going to be healed by a person, political or otherwise.  Only One has the answer, and we have turned our back on Him as a nation.

Again, I’m not going to talk politics here.  Haven’t we heard enough of that?    I believe in our country.  I believe in the spirit of our nation that made it great.  Hope.  Hard work.  Kindness.  Helping those who are less fortunate.  Most of all, love.    My prayer is that we (and I’m talking to my Christian brothers and sisters here) join together in prayer to lift our nation up, to help turn it back to God.  We’re not going to accomplish that by screaming in the faces of the very ones we’ve been sent to save.  So, maybe we need to start by praying for ourselves.  It’s easy to love like minded people, can you find it in your heart to love those who don’t think like you?  What about the ones who really don’t like you? The ones who live truly abominable lifestyles?  Or the ones who are good people, but have no idea that their lives are scarred with sin.  Because, let’s face it, mine is scarred with sin, too.  So is yours.  I can say that with no doubt.

It doesn’t really matter who gets elected today.  We may not even know until next week.  I haven’t listened to one exit poll, I’ve not heard one talking head give me his/her opinion, I’m not listening to the nay sayers or the gloom and doom prophesiers.  I know Who is in charge.  I know Him intimately.  And, He’ll be there no matter who sits in the Oval Office.  The question is, what are we going to do to make sure He’s not done with us?

The opening verse of our Bible study Sunday was a well known and much used one:

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11

What I loved was the part of the verse we never repeat, but the part that may have the most use for us now:


When we pray, He listens.  When we look for Him, we find Him.  Let’s fall on our knees and pray for our nation, my friends.  It’s time.