We are a nation divided and that is far more dangerous and powerful than Trump will ever be. Before he has even taken office, we are destroying our own country through hatred, miscommunication and terror. Please, please can we all just take a moment and breathe? Just breathe. No, we’re not going to all agree and be one cheery, happy family with no problems. There’s no simple, quick-and-easy fix for the racism, sexism, xenophobia and many other issues our nation already faces. The media has amplified the faults of both candidates through the entire election and now, it’s creating mass hysteria. Trump is not president yet. Our country, and the people in it, is still alive. Yes, our future is uncertain and shaky and not full of political comfort, but we’re not dead yet.
And as I Christian, I’m finding peace and hope and stability in the simple truth that there’s still God. He’s still here, even though it may look like he doesn’t care or doesn’t really even exist. He does, but so does sin. So does hate. Our country turned its back on him long ago and now we’re facing the consequences. Christianity has earned a reputation for being a religion of hypocritical bigots. That’s not what I stand for. I stand for love. I stand for grace. I stand for a God who knows me by name, a God who knows every detail of my life, a God who is intimately aware of my faults. I stand for a God who is far greater than me or the country I live in. I stand for a God who is ultimately in control, no matter who our president is. But that doesn’t mean he’s not going to let us live with the consequences of our actions; we do have free will, after all.
As I’ve been wrestling with the reactions to the election, I’ve found myself returning to the book of Isaiah. During a time of great fear and political oppression, God gave his promises to his people, reminding them of who he is. Isaiah 45:7 says, “I form light and create darkness, I make well-being and create calamity, I am the Lord, who does all these things.” Israel was in turmoil, just like our nation today. They needed to be reminded of whom God was and that he had a very specific plan of hope and salvation—but it would not be easy.
Isaiah 46:8-10 says “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose.”
There is no other. Right now, I need to be reminded of that. In this time of fear and division, our country doesn’t need a political leader that’s going to make it great again. No man can do that. No government can do that. Our country is in desperate need of God. His counsel alone will stand and, no matter what the political leaders or citizens of this country believe or do, he will accomplish his purpose. I don’t need to be afraid of Trump or his hateful propaganda. Rather, my trust should be placed in a God who sees and knows all, a God that will accomplish his purpose, a God who forms both light and darkness. I also do not need to fear the hate and division I see even now in our nation. Right now, my social media feed is pretty much overrun with hurt and terror. There are people who want to remain divided because they are angry and frustrated and offended by those who supported a different candidate than them. People are terrified of the promises Trump has made and the consequences those promises will have. I get that.
But we can’t let fear and different opinions divide us. That’s letting hate win. By choosing division and hatred for those who voted differently than you, you’re letting our country continue to spiral down the path of terror it’s been on for a while now. No matter whom you voted for, we now have Trump. There’s no longer a choice to be made about that. But we still have a choice to choose love or hate. I know where my vote is going. My vote is going with God, with love, with faith in a creator infinitely greater than any politician or political system. Ephesians 6:12 says “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” My fight is not with Trump or Clinton or voters of either candidate. My fight is with the darkness and hatred and fear being spread by forces greater than we understand. Satan is real and so are his demons and this rapid division and terror is coming straight from him. We are currently a nation divided and fearful and desperately in need of God—an easy target. So I’m fighting back by choosing God, choosing love, choosing faith. I’ve found peace in all this turmoil because my hope is not in this messed up political system. It never has been and it never will be. My hope is in God, and with him, I’m moving forward in love and hope and peace in a time when those things are hard to find.