Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My Hiding Place

The political situation in our country is such that I feel like running away and hiding somewhere until it gets straightened out. Three opposing parties have formed a coalition to overthrow our minority government. If this happens, and even though none of those parties garnered enough votes in themselves to lead, one of them will put their party leader into the top position. To me, this does not seem like a democracy. Not only that, the most likely next Prime Minister seems totally incompetent.

Running and hiding doesn’t help me much either, yet aside from writing letters, signing petitions, and protesting, what else can I do about it? Even though I can bring my requests to God (and we are supposed to pray for those in authority), I’m not sure if this take-over is one of those things that is in His will. It may not seem like it, but who am I to figure out what God is doing?

When I read Deuteronomy 33:27-29 this morning, God comforted me. He is my refuge. Whether or not the government is toppled and a coalition rules are under His control and I can rest in His wisdom. These verses say:
The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, and will say, ‘Destroy!’ Then Israel shall dwell in safety, the fountain of Jacob alone, in a land of grain and new wine; His heavens shall also drop dew. Happy are you, O Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, The shield of your help and the sword of your majesty! Your enemies shall submit to you, and you shall tread down their high places.
Even though this is written to the nation of Israel, it reminded me that my real enemies are not people who belong to political parties. Instead my biggest threats are but fear, self-interest, lack of trust, and the lies of Satan. No matter what people do, with God as my refuge and support I can respond to the ups and downs of life with faith, hope, a generous heart, and courage.

My reading today has a few lines that really encourage me. After saying that a soul that lives forever needs not a temporary refuge but one that is eternal, he says that “the never-dying soul wants something to stand when works and wonders cease. Doctrines, opinions, sentiments, ordinances, the good opinion of men, the applause and flattery of the creature—these are of the earth, earthy, and they fail. . . .”

Indeed they do. If I put my hope for the good of my country in a leader who seems to be a good man, I can be disappointed. If I put my hope in a political system that seems fair and without bias, I can be disappointed. If I put my hope in the good judgment of the people who live in my country, I can be disappointed. I need an anchor that is far more reliable than human beings. I know how fickle we can be; I am one of them.

Yet I also need to be careful that when putting my hope in God I am not merely hoping in one of His attributes. God is love, but will what He does always feel like my wishy-washy definition? God is fair, but will what He decides make sense to me? God is merciful but also just. Will I know what attribute He will demonstrate in each situation?

The wisdom of God is often beyond my understanding. Putting my hope in Him means trusting Him all the time. He does promise prosperity and protection from enemies, but I need to be careful that I don’t try to control the definitions. He knows what will prosper my eternal soul, which may be far more important these days than prospering my temporary body. He knows what enemies are the most danger to me, and fear could be a far worse enemy than a three-party coalition of what looks like power-hungry politicians.

God is bigger than all threatening ambitions. God is bigger than all desires to protect my standard of life. God knows what I need. He also has a bigger plan that I cannot see. However, by hiding in Him, I can be content to let Him take care of me, and tell me what to do (if anything) in this and any other situation. In fact, I am prospering and victorious when I simply trust and obey God, no matter what is going on.

1 comment:

violet said...

LC, I've been struggling with the same news story - and have had to remind myself repeatedly that God knows what's happening in Canada, and can work it all out for good - somehow. Thankfully today a time out has been called.