WHAT HAPPENED AMERICA: was God’s hand in this election?
One thing is clear since this past Tuesday: this won’t be politics as normal. Some who prayed for God to direct this election may not comfortable with this new news. All of us, no matter our location, should wonder, “Is God changing, or are we?”
Some believe God does not change. Since creation began, whether you’re on the literal seven-day plan or lean into science and evolution, a common theological tenant espoused by theologians old and new is that God does not change. God. The Great I AM. Immovable. Immortal. Unwavering. Constant. More decisive than a five-star general on a good day. There is a plan, and we are on it. This ironclad, steadfast God is all well in good until a loved one gets cancer. Then what?
There is no “then what.” We don’t accept, move on, and continue business as usual. In the face of adversity, pain and potential loss, we pray hard. We pray and pray for God to intervene, for God to do something.
Then there’s this thinking. Maybe it was God’s plan for Uncle John to get cancer and for us to pray for the cancer to be cured.
There’s another way to look at this. Maybe God does change, at least sometimes. This would mean that God is responsive to us, and that prayer works in our favor.
Speaking of prayer, there’s this one, too. It’s the prayer to God that His will be done. It’s the prayer that has us turn to God, which is what God wants, and with a peace that does pass all understanding, we surrender to the situation. “God, take this,” we pray with experience and trust. “You know what is best. You know my desire. You also know I do not understand all of Your ways. Your plan. But You do. I give You this situation.”
Here’s a fact. People prayed hard over this election.
And we have our answers.
While some argue that God is testing us and will sway everything back to the right if more pray harder for an America that was, it is hard to argue that God didn’t have God’s hand in what has happened in our midterm elections. According to Rutgers University Center for American Women and Politics, the next congress will feature a record number of women of color, and a number of non-incumbent women. And this includes Native Americans and Muslim women.
We should all wonder. “What IS God doing?”
Maybe God is surprising us. Maybe God is actually hearing us and responding as we like, or do not like. Or maybe this is God’s plan. Warring nations in the Old Testament used God’s name as The Number One ally to ensure victory. Sometimes this worked. Sometimes this didn’t.
For those celebrating and for those surprised by our nation’s recent election, let’s think God is challenging us—all of us—to something new, something better. “Behold,” He who is sitting on the throne says, “I make all things new (Revelation 21:5).”
This blog first appeared in The Susquehanna Independent on November 7, 2018.