The photo below is one of my favorites. Seven years ago, Allie and Maggie, then ages 13 and 6, came to my house once a month for Music and Art Day. They were homeschooled at the time, and I enjoyed inserting my knowledge and experience into their lives. This was a fun art project we did with a Halloween theme, and it always makes me smile to see their "life imitating art" expressions. Their eyes are dancing way too much for it to actually be scary, but I'm sure you can get the idea.
This year leading up to observing Halloween tomorrow and the election next Tuesday, I confess that I've had some fearful, frightening, foreboding, and yes, even worried thoughts. What if "the other side" wins and starts changing the world in ways that have been predicted? What will that look like? How will we cope? Should we start planning a move to Canada? Have the news pundits been speaking truth rather than biased distortions? Most of all, what kind of world will my grandchildren experience as a result? Better? Worse? Apocalyptic?
I was mentally and emotionally worked into a lather recently when my son called. He listened, as his pastoral training has taught him to do, and then very calmly said, "Mom, it will be okay. Whatever happens, it WILL be okay." He wasn't declaring that all of my candidates would win in the election. He was assuring me that no matter which way the country votes, we will survive and thrive. My strong suspicion is that he was able to respond that way because he had been in the Word lately more than I have. He had studied it, meditated on it, allowed it to sink deeply into his soul so that he could apply it appropriately in his sermons and his writing . . . and with his distraught Momma. Shame on me for allowing voices other than God's to penetrate my heart to the extent of producing fear and anxiety. Scripture clearly tells me that the spirit of fear does NOT come from God.
2 Timothy 1:7 -- "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
Then, in a moment in last Sunday's worship service that was divinely planned just for me, we sang "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms," and here came the 3rd stanza followed by the refrain:
What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
leaning on the everlasting arms?
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
leaning on the everlasting arms.
Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;
leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.
Do you know that there are 114 "Fear Nots" in the Bible? ONE HUNDRED AND FOURTEEN TIMES people in the pages of Scripture were told to not be afraid. Clearly, that is a message God wants to communicate. He's in control. He's got this. He's not surprised by ANYTHING going on in the world today -- a pandemic, wildfires, hurricanes, taunting of people with religious beliefs, immorality, etc. etc. He knows all of this and still tells us to not be afraid.
One of my favorite passages in the Bible is found in the first chapter of Joshua. Moses has died and God is commissioning Joshua to be the new leader of the Israelites -- a daunting task to be sure. Here are verses 6-9:
"Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do.8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.9 This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”
So, I'm reminding all of you (just as I'm reminding myself), VOTE if you haven't already and then whoever is elected, the Bible tells us in both Romans 13 and 1 Peter 2 to respect and obey those in authority over us. Let's flesh out a Biblical worldview in the days ahead. It will make a difference, I truly believe.