As I sit at my desk and write this, looking out at the cold rain outside, I am reminded of the unraveling (in every sense of the word) election year. I make the correlation because they are similar in nature, evoking the same feelings. “It looks awfully dreary out there.”
The election year is, in fact, just like this weather. It’s completely out of my control. It is no fun to be in and a part of. I can’t see sunshine nearing the corner; all I can see is the rain continuing to pour, the ground getting more messy, the hindrance it is going to bring me whenever I’m ready to go outside. No part of it brings warmth to my skin. It instead leaves me feeling like I need to get dried off immediately.
I log onto Twitter. The political commentary continues. Trump, in typical vitriol fashion, has said something new, something that would have been all over the news years ago and would have possibly threatened his business, but now it has grown to become expected, even celebrated, and winning him votes. While the sensible voices of the day shake their heads in disgust, the GOP frontrunner annoyingly paves his way to seeming victory, months after we all laughed about his entrance into the race. Now a Kanye West 2020 bid doesn’t seem so implausible, and at this point, would he really be a worse candidate than Trump? But I’m getting ahead of myself, and I haven’t even begun to mention the two Democratic candidates, both of which are sure to drive our nation into complete moral and political despair. Whether it is the celebration of abortion, the coolness of socialism, or the general comfort that surrounds electing an individual that exudes corruption…all of these things force me into a pit of gloom.
I see a YouTube clip of Trump’s most recent primary victory speech. I give it a whirl, maybe because I’m searching for a laugh, maybe because I’m still trying to wake myself up from this political nightmare. As he fumbles over his words, clearly not knowing how to articulate anything besides insults, I look back to the rain outside, and I sigh deeply.
I have a thought. On Friday, January 20, 2017, every media outlet will be locked in on covering Day 1 and the inauguration of the 45th President of the United States. While the networks and the pundits will do their best to provide an optimistic ethos for us to all step into, I can’t help but see storm clouds ahead. I love this country, and I love living here, but I have a feeling that some of these feelings I am having now will show up again on that cold Friday morning. No more debates, no more primaries, just a realization that this moment will set the political tone for the years to come. More rain is coming. More dreary weather is on the way.
Flash back to earlier today. The rain is beginning to decrease and I am continuing down my spiral of defeated patriotism. But in the midst of it all, I look outside, and I begin to notice something. The sky is brightening. The trees, the grass, the horizon all begin to come clearer into focus. The clouds are not going away, but the light is overpowering them. The light is breaking through, not because the clouds have let up, but because the sun is too great a power for the clouds to bear.
I hope I have not yet driven you to complete hopelessness, because the truth is, no matter what happens in tomorrow’s campaigning, or in November 8th’s electing, or in January 20th’s inaugurating, we can weather this political storm. Here is the reason:
No matter who comes and goes to sit in the White House, there is only One who will ever sit on the White Throne.
Oh, sure, the clouds are coming. The atmosphere may look grim. We are going to have a storm on our hands for the months, years, decades to come. But in the midst of my foolish hopelessness, the Father sends me a reminder through His creation, and through His Word: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome” (Jn. 1:5). The Father sits with authority on the White Throne, and no White House occupier evades His sovereign hand. No politician can thwart the plan of the God of Justice, the God of Mercy. As we are sweetly reminded by Keith Getty’s words:
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Could ever pluck me from His hand.
Because He sits on the White Throne already, we should realize something else: He is already King. When Jesus and the apostles make reference to the kingdom of God throughout Scripture, it is not spoken of as something waiting in the shadows that will be, but rather something that has already been established and is (e.g. Lk. 17:21b; Jn. 18:36; 1 Cor. 4:20). Though it has not yet been consummated, the kingdom of God has already been inaugurated, an inauguration that will not change its course in four or eight years, but will remain for eternity upon eternity (Dan. 4:3).
If there is anything I want to leave you with during this election season, it is that we can weather the storm, because the kingdom is here, already establishing its rule and reign, and the King sits immovable on His Throne. We serve One who will not be shaken by the government structures and leaders of our day. He is all-knowing, all-present, all-powerful, and that is good news.
The clouds may come, but even if they stay, they cannot shut out the Light.