Next week, Barack Obama will be inaugurated into his second term as President of the United States. Whether you voted for him or not, Pastor Borghardt reminds us that all election results are a gift from our Lord. This article is one of many in the Winter 2012 Topical Issue of Higher Things Magazine entitled "Church and State." To read more articles from this issue, check out its webpage here.
By Rev. George F. Borghardt
I voted for Mitt Romney. I didn’t like all of his policies, but the more I listened to him, the more I thought that he was the right man for the job. I even donated to his presidential campaign—something that I had never done before.
I pored over every article I could find. I yelled at my TV during the debates like they were sporting events. I obsessed over the news shows. I started DVRing them. I know, really? Yeah, I was that guy.
As we got closer to Election Day, I couldn’t sleep. I wanted so much for Mitt Romney to win. I prayed for him. Prayed for our country. I prayed for everything but the Lord’s will to be done.
We elect our leaders in America. It’s one of the things that makes our country great. We decide. We choose. We select every part of our government—from the city councilman to the president of the whole United States of America.
And so, I voted early. I would have voted often, if that were possible. I didn’t because that would have been wrong. Then, election night was finally upon us and I was glued to the TV as the returns came in. And I was just stunned. My guy, my prayers, lost.
Our Lord gives us our leaders. He appoints them. He’s the One who puts them in their places as His servants. Sometimes He gives us what we want and what we would choose for ourselves. Other times, He evaluates us justly and places authorities over us to carry out His judgment.
The entire government, every leader—from the sheriff in our community to our congressman and our president—He gives to us as a gift. And because it’s a gift, that means that He’s going to work it all out for maximum Gospel-ness for us and those around us.
Our guy wins and it’s a gift. Our guy doesn’t and it’s a gift, too. How can it not be? The Father sent His Son to be crucified by the Roman governor, Pontius Pilate, for our sins and the sins of all creation.
This is not some concession speech by someone who is trying to comfort himself in defeat, nor am I writing these things begrudgingly like a young child forced to eat his Brussels sprouts.
No, this is the rock-certain confession that God is good to us in all things. Good in victory. Good in defeat. Good when our guy wins. Good when he loses. Christ took the defeat of the Cross and used it to save us. He must work this out for our good and the good of our country.
We are given to receive these things from our Father as a gift. Pray for our country, our leaders, and for President Obama. Be good citizens and pay your taxes. For no leader is our leader, no president is our president, no senator our senator apart from the Father’s putting them there. Our guy loses in His love and mercy. Our guy wins in that same goodness. That’s the good news! The Father who didn’t spare His own Son in doing good for us certainly will work out all things for our good. He is working all of this out for the good of His people. You’ll see. I will, too.
Rev. George F. Borghardt is the senior pastor at Zion Ev. Lutheran Church in McHenry, Illinois, and serves as the Deputy and Conference Executives of Higher Things.
Created: January 15th, 2013