Grace, Government and Sovereignty

The last presidential election, we spent our time navigating the cultural grid of France. American politics and governmental distresses were blessedly far away–out of site, and out of mind. So you can imagine the baptism I felt during this election, not having the last one to remind me or buffer me or woo me into the next.

What we experienced in France cannot be disconnected from us. There, we benefited from socialized medicine, all the while trying to figure out the mind-numbing paperwork a socialistic government produced. We lamented its behemoth pace. We growled at the complete lack of customer service. And we engaged with French folks over elections, politics and government.

I am a different girl now than I was before living abroad. And that’s precisely why this election has been difficult for me. I see the world through a different sieve. I do not discuss politics with anyone, unless it’s my husband or a very close friend. I see how deeply those discussions can divide folks.

In all that, I’ve come to this: God is grace-oriented. And He is sovereign. No matter what our neighbor holds dear in terms of political views, we can always choose to have grace toward him/her. We always have a choice to listen, rather than vocalize. We can value another’s opinion over our own by keeping our words few and emphasizing our empathy. That’s grace. And I’d love to see more of it in the months and weeks ahead as our government shapeshifts before our eyes.

And no matter who we voted for, those who are Christ-followers can embrace the sovereignty of God. He is in control. This election never caught Him by surprise. He is masterfully in control of all governments, all leaders, all people. He has a beautiful, redeeming, kingdom plan. It’s multifaceted, intricate, and perfect. There is no need to fear. He holds the world, and America, in the palm of His hand.

And as I ruminate, I am reminded of other governments around the world who exploit, kill, maim, traffic, and enact genocide. I weep at Darfur and what is going on presently in the Congo, and the killings in India. Which is why I lean so heavily on the beauty of sovereignty. Because if I place all my hope in government, where man’s sin-sickness and hunger for money are prone to rear an ugly head, I will ultimately give up and gnash my teeth.

Don’t believe me? Prone to faint from worry? Watch this and rest:

The day after the election, I found this amazing verse:

“And He will be the stability of your times, a wealth of salvation, wisdom and knowledge. The fear of the Lord is his treasure.” Isaiah 33:6

You know what I fear? I don’t fear government as much I as fear man’s ability to treasure the wrong things. I fear those who place financial gain (treasure) above humanity’s needs. But if I strip all that away and lay that well-placed fear at the feet of Jesus, I know fearing God is where I need to rest. It’s then that I will truly, truly know that God is my stability, the stability of our times, and the only true provider of salvation, wisdom and knowledge.

Inasmuch as we all submit (governments included) beneath a sovereign, grace-filled Creator is the amount of light we’ll shine to a world in darkness.

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Note: This is a part of a series of blogs about “What I learned from Government” over at Middle Zone Musings. Be sure to check out all the winsome posts!

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