This election season has been pure torture.
There, I said it.
I have lost all faith in our political system and the politicians we elected to represent us. As a former political activist, this is hard for me to admit.
I spent years of my life valiantly fighting for the causes and people I believed in, only to have the causes be fruitless and the politicians spineless. I put my faith in people and causes that ultimately failed, and it was a hard reality to accept when they did.
I watched in horror as our nation went to the ballot boxes and chose two candidates; two candidates who in no way represented my values.
Was this really happening? It didn’t seem possible.
Our nation’s political system was turning into a reality show that should have never made it past the creative process. A reality show that no sane person would watch or support. But yet, there it was, in all of its grotesque glory. Our political system was suddenly a joke, but unfortunately, a joke with serious ramifications.
Then a strange and miraculous thing happened. Suddenly, I stopped worrying and became grateful for this crazy, insane, reality show of an election season, because it has shown me something I was blind to before—it has shown me I truly have no control. No matter how hard I fight, no matter how loud I scream, or how many words I write—I am not in control.
While in many ways this is terrifying, it is also one of the most beautiful and liberating things I have ever experienced, because it forced me to put the fate of the country I love in God’s hands—where it always was anyway.
I can’t change the candidates. I can’t change their views. I can’t change who is going to vote for each candidate, and that’s okay because God is in control.
“He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others. He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to the discerning” (Daniel 2:21, NIV).
Another reason I’ve found to be thankful this election season is that the blinders have been pulled from my eyes. I no longer see the other side as an enemy that needs to be defeated. I no longer see individuals who believe differently from me as “non-Christian” for their views. I no longer see half the population of the United States as enemies. God has softened my heart to the needs and concerns of others. He allowed me to see how I was acting before this election and how my actions were viewed by others. Before this election season, I was one of those people speaking out and judging others who didn’t believe exactly as I believed. I was the one whose mind was closed to the pain other people were suffering.
Now, God has opened my eyes to see each person, including our politicians, as someone in need of God. I see a population looking for answers and solutions from broken individuals when only God can provide clarity. I see people trying to fix a broken nation with broken people.
God allowed this election season. He allowed these candidates. He allowed these problems. And, if our nation is going to be healed, it will only be the Great Physician who will heal it.
None of this is to say that it isn’t our duty as Christians and as citizens to vote. It is still our responsibility to do our best to elect men and women who will stand for the principles we hold dear.
However, as this election has proven to me, no man, no woman, no person can save us. Only God can heal us, and once we, as individuals, are healed, our nation will be healed.
“Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there. When they breathe their last, they return to the earth, and all their plans die with them. But joyful are those who have the God of Israel as their helper, whose hope is in the Lord their God,” (Psalm 146:3-6, NLT).