So here we are, in a very political country, sweating through an extremely political climate, entering a week with a politically suffocating focus. This year’s election is different, everyone says. And I’d have to agree, because this year, one of my children is old enough to vote. Different indeed.
My husband and I are not the political type – individually or as a couple. Politics is a whole lot of noise, and noise is disorienting and confusing and it tends to attract a lot more noise. That’s my personal narrative about politics. (Don’t worry, it’s safe to keep reading!)
But our daughter – the new voter – has questions, and because of love and responsibility, my husband and I have discussed politics with her. We don’t have answers, necessarily, but we’ve talked through options. Sure, we want to be informed and use wisdom on Election Day, but knowledge doesn’t always provide discernment. For all the media coverage, debates, opinions, discovered secrets, speculations, hypotheticals, and discussions that have fallen on our ears or out of our mouths, we’re still as clueless as we were from the beginning.
Noise. And in the confusion of noise, fear grows. I see it in the quiet way my younger children listen when the adults at the table discuss matters they don’t understand. I hear it in the text from my niece, slightly shaken by the uncertain future in which she will raise and teach her infant daughter.
Because of all the fear, I write today in a different tone.
I was recently reading the book of Daniel when a few verses caught my attention. I reread them, underlined them, and read them again. The words forced fresh air through my lungs like an early morning run in November; it burned, and it made me feel alive. God’s Word does that. I wrote the verse on a piece of paper and taped it where it was sure to be visible to everyone – the pantry doors in the kitchen.
On Monday, my oldest daughter was typing the verse into her phone. On Wednesday, I happened to spot my daughter’s boyfriend reading the verse. On Friday, I repeated the verse in several conversations, and yesterday, my 10 year old asked me to send the verse to her Kindle. In the midst of all this, I wondered what to post, asking the Lord, “What do people need to hear?” It was so obvious. I had already posted what people needed to hear. People need God’s Word, specifically the words posted in my kitchen:
Praise God because wisdom and power belong to Him.
He changes the seasons and controls the course of world events;
He removes kings and sets up other kings.
He gives wisdom to the wise and provides discernment.
He knows what lies hidden in darkness.
A prayer of Daniel, compiled from 5 translations of chapter 2, verses 20-22
Thousands of years ago, during the uncertain times of his day, Daniel took his concerns, fears, and confusion to the same God of today. God’s wisdom and power were all Daniel could be sure of, so rather than pretend he could control his future, Daniel found comfort in trusting God’s control.
It’s a wonderful thing to have a voice and a vote, but they can’t promise certainty in uncertain times, and tomorrow is certainly uncertain. This week is uncertain, this year is uncertain, and we don’t know what the future holds. We never have and never will. But God knows. He knows all, sees all, and is powerful enough to handle it all. Take comfort in that!
And then do more – share the comfort you have in the God who knows.
Share Daniel’s prayer. Let it be heard above the noise.