As I write this, I am waiting for a promised blizzard to arrive. I can see it on the weather maps, and its arrival is inevitable, but right now it is calm. So life goes on as normal. Snowstorms and even blizzards are not uncommon for those of us who live in Minnesota. We prepare and take precautions (all the area schools are closed today), but we don’t panic. We have learned to be calm in the storm.
Our daughter is attending college in North Carolina. They are not so casual about snow storms, because they are a more rare occurrence. When we attended orientation for our daughter, before her freshman year, the chief of police informed us that, if there is any snow, the whole community will shut down for three days. For some reason, whenever there is a threat of snow, there is a rush on bread and eggs. The store shelves will be empty, even though in a day or two, at most, all of the snow will be gone.
These contrasting examples are a microcosm of our world. We live in a world filled with storms and threats of storms. The western world is facing the challenges of the storm that rages in Syria and surrounding areas. As refugees flood north into Europe, everything is disrupted. There are many people who are panicking in the face of this storm. There are also some who are taking a more calm approach.
Nationally, we are facing a storm of a different kind. It is called a Presidential election. The first real winds of that storm brewed up yesterday at the Iowa caucuses. Right now, that storm is still taking shape, as the pool of potential candidates begins to thin and become more clear. I have already heard much panicked conversation about the “what ifs” of the coming election. It is hard to be calm when such a monumental decision looms on the horizon.
As followers of Christ, we have been called to be calm in the midst of the storm, and not give in to irrational panic. This does not mean that we sit idly by and watch what happens. We must be diligent to do what is necessary to prepare for our part in this story. But at the same time, we need to put our trust, not in political systems, but in God. This is true, not just about a Presidential election, but about the major world events we face as well.
As followers of Christ, we can remain calm in the storm, because we know that ultimately God is in control. Jesus told us that we can find a secure place in Him, no matter what the storm. "I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." John 16:33 We will face the storms of life, but we will not be overcome by them.
So often the negative forces in our world seem so large and powerful. We can get discouraged and disheartened. But again the Bible assures us that we have the power to overcome through Christ. You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:4
We can trust God to direct the events of our world, even a Presidential election, to accomplish His purposes. Sometimes that means that God allows us to face times of testing and trials to refine our faith, as he did for the people of Israel. At other times it means that we will prevail for His glory. In all things, we know that Christ has authority, power , and dominion. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. Ephesians 1:18-23
It is very easy to get disoriented in the midst of a storm. That is one of the greatest dangers in a blizzard. We can lose our sense of direction and wander aimlessly. That is a very dangerous place to be. As we face the storms of life, we can, and should, remain calm, because our trust is in Christ.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.