Being out of the country during election season was quite the blessing. No commercials, no campaign ads, no daily banter. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhh.... sweet peace.
Yesterday being election day, however, I wanted to keep up with what was going on. But there is a two hour time difference here so by midnight my time I was spent and off to bed I went, knowing that me staying up til 3am to find out the results would not, in fact, make any difference whatsoever in the outcome but me losing more sleep would make for a long day today.
Being 8.5 months pregnant, there are only about a million and one middle-of-the-night bathroom wake-ups so about 2:45 I woke up to go and thought I'd check Facebook for the results.
It was very clear right away that Obama had won the gold.
What was my reaction? I turned over and immediately fell back to sleep. (Cut be a break, the sun comes up at 4:45 am here!)
When I woke up again this morning, I began to feel the tinge of disappointment. But it wasn't actually disappointment that Obama won and Romney lost. It was a disappointment with the response of Believers to the outcome. Hear me out.
Some of the status updates I've seen have been so gloom and doom, so hopeless and depressing.
I can't help but think that last night as America awaited the results, Jesus was in fact NOT pacing the floors of Heaven, updating his FB and Twitter feeds every 30 seconds and watching FOX News to see the latest poll closings.
He knew this would be the outcome a while back.... like, before He created the world. And what's even more is He planned it that way.
While we sit back thinking that if more people would have just voted, things could have been different, Jesus sits comfortably at the right hand of God knowing that is actually not true. He controlled the polls yesterday, not us.
As much as we like to think we have a say in things, the fact of the matter is, we don't. And most of us like to say that we know God is sovereign and in control.... until His sovereignty and control look a little bit different than what we thought they should looke like.
Jesus isn't disappointed with the election results. In fact, I think He's waiting for His Body to step up and be the hands and feet we were called to be. And He's giving us all the opportunity in the world.
So here's what I say:
Instead of fearing the next four years, praise the Lord that He is in control and that we aren't!
It's time for us, as believers, to stop standing up for these big-time events like Chick-fil-a rallies and Presidential elections and start working out our roles as Believers in the day-to-day.
Don't want to see more abortions? Romney wouldn't eliminate abortion. So, instead, if you're really passionate about it like we all like to say during election season, get in touch with your local crisis pregnancy center and donate your time like my friend Shannon Conner did after the last election. She says:
"Another positive (for me) about this Obama administration is...I can't stand his views on abortion! So instead of being mad about it for 4-years (or 4 more) I started volunteering at Sav-a-Life in my community and have met some wonderful godly women who can pray the house down if they have to!"
Can't volunteer? I bet you can give sacrificially to provide diapers, formula, clothing, and other essentials to new moms who have made the scary choice to keep their babies, despite pressure to do otherwise. Don't have a crisis pregnancy center? Start one! Or at least get on your knees and beg God to lay it on someone's heart to do so.
Upset about the unemployment rate? Romney wouldn't eliminate unemployment. Get in touch with your local homeless shelter and start volunteering to serve. Search out families in your area who have lost their homes and take them in. Start regularly donating to the local food bank. Participate in fundraisers to fund these organizations.
Before we moved to Brazil, I had met a homeless lady in downtown Chattanooga on night as Richard and I walked back to our car after dinner and a movie. Her name was Angela. God laid it on my heart to begin meeting with her one day a week for Bible study and we did just that for about six months. I assure you that she impacted my life much more than I impacted hers! Was it hard? Yes. Were there days I didn't want to do it? Yes. Was it totally worth the time and money we invested in her? Absolutely!
Upset about public school underfunding? Romney wouldn't fix our problems in the schools. Instead, find out if your local schools have tutoring programs that you can volunteer for. If there are children in your neighborhood who come home to an empty house every afternoon, invite them over for snacks and games. See if you can donate school supplies to kids in need during the year.
My friend Shannon also says:
"I really don't care for how the administration wants people to be dependant on the government so I'm going to check out volunteering at a youth detention center and hopefully inspire at least one person to pull themselves up and better their life and NOT depend on the government for a handout. I can't save the world but I'm just looking for one."
I know of a couple who sold their big house in the suburbs and moved to the inner city to reach at-risk youth. Sound radical? Sounds like Jesus to me.
Upset about the Health Care crisis? Romney wouldn't make it all better. Start making healthier life choices and living simpler to save money and improve your health, decreasing the need for health care and preparing for the future. Take up an exercise routine. Participate in walk/run fundraisers for cancer, diabetes, March of Dimes, etc. Eat real foods. Research medicines before just taking them because the doctor prescribed it. Look for natural alternatives.
We live in a society that has quickly put their faith in a health system that doesn't have us as its best interest. Start taking charge of what you do to your own body!
Just don't like Obama for his lack of principles, lies, and corruption? Let's not forget Romney is a politician, too. And a Mormon.... doesn't stand for our core beliefs either. So make it a point to pray for him. Every single day. How much did we pray for Obama over the last four years? Do we not think God is big enough to change him? If we really do think God is that big, let's pray like it.
In other words, stop fearing and dreading and being depressed. Do something!
Live simpler to give more to what REALLY matters: spreading the Gospel around the world. Sponsor a child. Volunteer at a school, homeless shelter, or pregnancy center. Pray for our leaders and teach our children to pray for our leaders. Adopt. Foster a child. Simplify your life so you can serve and give more. Start a program for at-risk youth. Write encouraging e-mails and letters to people you know are struggling. Buy groceries for the family whose husband just lost his job. Cook meals for the sick. Visit the nursing homes.
Give. Go. Serve. Do. Pray.
The people I know who are doing these things, don't have much time on their hands to complain about what isn't happening....
Let's take this election result as a hint from God that it's about time we step up our game.
The world isn't going to know us by who we vote for, they are going know us by how we love.
"By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13.35