Since writing yesterday, I’ve thought some more about the people who have expressed grief, anxiety, fear and frustration over Donald Trump’s election. Many of their comments remind me of the emotions I experienced eight years ago.
Back then, I struggled to believe that the Lord had placed Barack Obama in leadership. I still don’t understand His purposes in doing so, but Scripture clearly teaches that He brings rulers into power. Though I grieved over all the losses America would suffer during His administration (particularly in terms of restrictions on abortion), I recognized my responsibility to prayerfully support the president He has given us.
And I continue praying for his salvation, for God to grant him wisdom and for his physical protection. I hate almost everything he’s done, and I feel enormous relief that Hillary won’t continue his disastrous policies. I look forward to the repeal of Obamacare, and I rejoice in the possibility of conservative justices on the Supreme Court. Yet I want to respect President Obama in obedience to God’s Word.
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, 2 for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. 3 This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. ~~1 Timothy 2:1-4 (ESV)
In short, even though I believed (and still believe) that President Obama had a wicked agenda, I owned him as the president God had raised up.
Despite my acknowledgment of the Lord’s sovereignty in placing Obama in the White House, November 5, 2008 was, for me, a day to mourn. As Obama himself said, America is no longer a Christian nation. To mourn our rejection of Judeo-Christian values, I went to King’s Chapel Burial Ground in Boston to lay flowers on the grave of John Winthrop. Winthrop, who came to Massachusetts in 1630 as Massachusetts Bay Colony’s first governor, envisioned New England to be a City on a Hill, shining forth as a Christian community. Had he lived to see the founding of the United States of America, I suspect he would have extended that vision.
As I sat next to Winthop’s grave, I anticipated Obama’s adminstration. A socialist economy. Expanded special privileges for people who choose to practice homosexual lifestyles. The removal of restrictions on abortion. A softer stance on terrorism. Taxing the rich to further entrap the poor into dependence on the government. It all goes so contrary to a nation that obeys God’s Law and seeks His glory. My heart broke at the thought of my beloved country embracing ungodly policies and thumbing its nose at the Lord Jesus Christ.
So I wept beside John Winthrop’s grave.
But then I moved toward hope. I asked John to take my Bible from my pocketbook and read Psalm 37. I drew comfort from the knowledge of God’s sovereignty. And, while I’ve spent the past eight years watching the United States of America erode, I have also watched Him protect His own. He has been faithful.
Now I see the anguish of people who fear Donald Trump just as deeply as I feared Barack Obama. Though I adamantly disagree with their belief that progressive policies best serve our nation, I believe they love America just as deeply as I do.
I ask those who rejoice with me at the prospect of undoing some of the damage wrought by Obama to step back from the celebration for just a moment. Let’s remember the despair we felt eight years ago. Dare we be callous, even in our joy, to those who genuinely grieve right now? Shouldn’t we show them the compassion that we wanted to receive when they elected Obama? We have a wonderful opportunity right now to reflect the love of Christ. Let’s do it.