October 7, 2008
Tonight I tried my best to listen attentively to the presidential debate. I thought both Senator McCain and Senator Obama did a fairly good job presenting their views in a convincing manner. Many of the questions were on our economy, of course. I can’t say I was particularly entertained by the debate, nor was I supposed to have been. It wasn’t designed to be entertaining. But I can’t say I was encouraged by their responses either. And you know, I was really hoping I would be. After all, it feels more and more like a huge hammer is laying blows to my sense of financial security — further knocking down my family’s hope for a bright and comfortable future — every time I turn on the television now days.
I find myself getting caught up in that “helpless feeling (that’s) fallen over our country,” as Time Magazine put it in this week’s issue. And I am quite sure that many, if not most, people who tuned in to the debate were like I was tonight — hoping to at least be a little encouraged by what they heard. After all, surely one of those two guys — elevated as they are to be candidates of our highest political office — surely one of them has the answers we need to fix this country of ours! Surely they can bring us a little sense of relief and hope again.
Well, I admit that was what I was somewhat subconsciously thinking when I first turned on the TV to the debate tonight. But it didn’t take long into that debate for reality to set in on me again. I had to face the fact that for all their good intentions and excellent attempts at having the right answers, those two gentlemen are just human like me. They both mean well I think, but they don’t really have a handle on this colossal financial crisis our country is in.
Sure, I have a favorite candidate that I am passionately pulling for. I even have his bumper sticker with his last name (and that of his female running mate) on the back of my car. And yes, I am concerned for the other candidate’s socialistic and moderate tendencies. Thus, I will feel better and more content if the one candidate wins over the other. Yet, I do not think I will feel any safer or any more secure.
What hit me between the spiritual eyes tonight is that our government and our governmental leaders — no matter how well-informed. well-experienced, and well-meaning they may be — are simply not capable of bringing me lasting hope and security. That privilege and unearthly ability is reserved only for the God of gods, King of kings, and Lord of lords. That God (by the way) is also my God, King, and Lord.
Psalm 20:7 says, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” That is where our hope comes from. And that is from where our joy should spring — from the awesome knowledge that our God is big enough to handle every situation which comes our way. He doesn’t promise us we’ll maintain our present “standard of living.” In fact, He doesn’t promise us physical comfort at all. But He did promise He would meet our needs — every one of them — and He said He would never leave us or forsake us.
Maybe that is why my friend, Mark Hall of Casting Crowns, could write and sing those powerful words: “I will praise You in this storm, and I will lift my hands, for You are who You are, no matter where I am.” Where I am is in the United States, for which I am very grateful. But more importantly, where I forever am is in Christ. And in Him there is permanent peace and safety.