It’s not about the candidates, it’s about us. This is not a party post, but a God post.
We are on the eve of the most polarizing U.S. election that I’ve ever experienced. Those on each side fear a tragic outcome if their candidate doesn’t win. They say never discuss religion or politics, but God cares about politics too. If God keeps track of the constantly changing number of hairs on our head, he cares deeply about how we are governed. He is a God of justice and mercy. When we are on the eve of possible bad (or even good) news, we don’t need to wait helplessly, anxiously, or idly. Today’s post is a testimony and reminder that God can take care of us in trying circumstances.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two [a]copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. 7 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.”Luke 12:6-8
Between Diagnosis and Prognosis
God is the God of the in-between. I remember the anxiousness I battled as I went through the many scans and tests between my diagnosis and prognosis. The same question rises from me now that rose to me in my cancer battle of 2014, “What if the worst happens?” Does God stop caring about me if my cancer turns out to be untreatable? In this case, “If the other guy wins, has God abandoned us?” Many thoughts and questions blow around our minds with hurricane strength, but within this in-between time comes an opportunity. It’s the opportunity to plan. The way to get through this is found in many scriptures, but one that stands out for me today is 1 Peter 5:7-11.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. 8 Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. 9 Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. 10 And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. 11 To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen.1 Peter 5:7-11
What I Can Control
The wise question in a stressful situation is, “What can I control?” The truth is, the only thing we can control is how we respond. Between diagnosis and prognosis, I wouldn’t have the answer to the question of will I die or live, for weeks. Many thoughts blew around my mind with hurricane wind strength. It’s hard to focus or concentrate in the middle of the storm. We have to find that anchor and hold on with all our might. The words “humble yourselves” in 1 Peter 5:7 sound so religious and nebulous, but they aren’t. It’s a mere acknowledgment that God is still on the throne, even if things don’t go our way. Before I knew any results, I decided to control the only thing I had control of; how I would respond. We must plan how we will respond if we are to be victorious.
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.Isaiah 26:3
The Toilet Paper Crisis of 2020
We plan for earthquakes, tornadoes, and fires by purchasing supplies, insurance and putting contingency plans in place. We all do this hence the toilet paper crisis of 2020. Why wouldn’t we give our emotional, spiritual, and mental health the same respect? How am I preparing for the results of the election? I am building up my anti-fear arsenal now. How? I google fear, anxiety, peace, strength, and hope with the word “scripture” I scroll through the scriptures and see what speaks to me. I keep them with me, memorize them until they become second nature and pop into my head and heart just when I need them. This is how God can speak to us and how we can be at peace when we are going through hell.
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.”Winston Churchill
When I was diagnosed, I asked God for a game plan, and I wrote it down. I let it guide me through the ups and downs. The days I was too sick to want to live, I worked the plan obligatorily or when I didn’t know what to do through the discouragement and fear. I was able to keep moving forward because I had a plan. It was my life preserver through my cancer storm. If I hadn’t have planned, I’d have been carried by the torrent of my emotions. When we seek God, look in his wisdom, write down scriptures, speak them, and let them guide our thoughts and our actions, we can keep going as Churchill said. If we don’t have a plan to work, we don’t know what to do when confused and overwhelmed. It doesn’t have to be complex, just actionable.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.Psalm 34:4
My Current Plan
- Start – When I begin to worry about these things, I practice by speaking and believing his word to build my fight muscles for the real thing. Starting with Psalm 56:3-4, “When I am afraid, God, I will trust in you.” “I will not fear for God is with me, I won’t be afraid for he is my God, he will strengthen me and uphold me.” (Isaiah 41:10)
- Decide – I decided that I will be okay if the worst possible scenario becomes a reality. “God is in the midst of me. He is my refuge and my strength, my very present help in trouble, I will not fear, and I will not be moved (Psalm 46). I will not let my heart be troubled, but I believe in God.” John 14:1
- Plan – I need to plan how I will act towards the new person in charge and those who support them. I am using this time to pray for which policies I will support (it is good too), which ones I will fight, and how I will do my part to change them. 1 Timothy 2:1
- Contingency – What if the election isn’t called right away and the internet and others will be cruel, violent, and contentious? That’s a hard one for me; I am so sick of all of the contention I want to scream. Violence never solves violence, and it puts me on the same or lower level than them. My only answer, which I used for my cancer battle, was Romans 12:21. Overcome evil with good. I will make good and encouraging posts, share scriptures, and memes.
Proclamation According to 1 Peter 5
Whether my candidate wins or loses, I will be strong in the Lord and in the power of his might. My hope, peace, and strength are in the Lord my God who made heaven and earth.
- No matter what has happened, I humble myself and cast all of my cares on God, for he deeply cares for me (1 Peter 5:7)
- I am sober-minded and watchful for the enemy of my soul, yet full of peace for I am wise (1 Peter 5:8)
- I stand strong in my faith, resisting every thought that weakens my faith. (1 Peter 5:9)
- God is perfecting, establishing, strengthening, and establish me as I stand firm. This pain will be for my gain. (1 Peter 5:10)
- I am not overcome with evil, but I overcome evil with good. (Romans 12:21)