I don’t know about you, but I am so glad this day is finally here. This campaign season is finally over, and not a moment too soon.
This has been kind of a tough election season for me. I worked really hard for one candidate in the primary, but he didn’t make it. But really, this has been a tough election season for all of us, hasn’t it? We are faced with two of the most disliked and untrustworthy candidates in our history. It’s a difficult choice for anyone, but especially for Christians. No one can dispute the fact that neither major party candidate is a good role model for our children, or that neither of them have the characteristics that make a moral and respectable leader. We have reached a new low, and I find myself in the position of not being able to vote for either one of them.
So where does that leave me, and the millions or at least thousands of other people who have serious problems with the candidates? Some people may decide that they have to vote for one candidate because they dislike the other one so much. Some people may decide not to vote at all, or to vote on every race except for president. Then some, like me, may decide to write in the name of a candidate they truly believe in (or vote third party if that’s an option in their state). What I have come to realize is that it’s a personal decision for each of us, between us and God, and it isn’t something we should allow to anger us or divide us. Whatever happens today, we will wake up tomorrow with our lives basically unchanged, at least for now. After the debates, the commercials, and the arguing are over, we will have to come together as a nation, with love and respect for our fellow believers and citizens, no matter who we voted for.
In the past, whenever I’ve heard someone say, “God’s in control,” or “Just trust God no matter what the outcome is,” I’ve agreed outwardly, but I’ve always inwardly thought those ideas were a cop-out. Honestly, I still do think some people use them as excuses not to get involved, but I’ve come to realize the truth in these statements even more this year. Yes, it’s important to be involved in the political process, to be informed and to vote for candidates who share our Biblical values, but God can work through anyone. That’s especially important to remember this year, when neither of the candidates are great options.
Something else I’ve wrestled with is that America’s happiness is not God’s priority. I do believe that our nation was founded on His principles and that He has blessed us greatly, but we can sometimes forget that His goal for us is sanctification as a church body and as individuals, not necessarily a return to our Constitutional principles or “making America great again.” God can use even a “bad” president to accomplish His purposes, for the nation or the church, to show us mercy or judgement, or to grow the church in the face of persecution. So while we have a responsibility to vote for the candidate we believe would make the best president, we don’t need to worry if they don’t win. After all, God is the one who raises up and brings down rulers and who gives them authority. We can trust that He knows what He’s doing.
So today, please go vote. Vote for a presidential candidate who shares your values, whether they are part of a major party, a third party, or even if you have to write them in. Remember what John Quincy Adams said: “Duty is ours; results are God’s.” Do your duty and vote, then leave the results in God’s hands, and trust that He will accomplish His purpose in us, through us, and for us. Then, no matter who wins, our duty is to pray for our new leaders, and for our country. That is the most important thing we can do.