Sometimes We Get What We Want, But Not What We Expect

I am not drawn to politics. It is more disillusioning to me than invigorating. Politics, however, is a mainstay of civilization, a byproduct of it and, in some ways, the life blood of civilization. We can not escape it though we try.

God is neither Republican nor Democrat, I dare say at the risk of offending friends on both sides of the aisle. I do not believe however, that God is not interested in the politics. He is intimately interested in all that we do. The Bible even says that God puts rulers in place.

The Bible also says that God’s ways are not our ways. When Jesus rode through Jerusalem on a donkey, he was celebrated for harkening the ouster of foreign rule and returning self-rule back to Israel; in reality, He came to Jerusalem, not to take a throne, but to die at the hands of the ruling authority at the time. Jesus’ triumphant ride through Jerusalem did not lead to the victory that people expected. God had a different plan, a bigger plan: victory over sin and death by which all of human kind, both the living and the dead, would be offered entrance into the Kingdom of God.

After Jesus’ death, some Jews at the time, particularly the zealots (political idealists?), were embittered by the apparent and utter collapse of all of their hopes and dreams of living free from outside control. Even those closest to Jesus, who walked, ate and slept alongside him, denied they knew him when their expectations seemed dashed.

Whether celebrating the fulfillment of expectations or despairing of dashed expectations, God is in control. He has a plan. If our hope is not in God, Himself, we may find ourselves missing the mark in what we expect and being crushed when our expectations are not met.

After the last election, many people were celebrating and many were embittered. As we near the “Fiscal Cliff,” our hopes and/or fears are on the line, regardless of which reaction we had to the election. In Illinois, the Democrats have taken back sizeable majorities in the House and Senate. The public has spoken by giving the Democratic Party a veto proof majority with a Democratic governor. On the national level, we have a Democratic president without the constraint of future political campaigns, locking horns with entrenched Republicans trying to forestall the fulfillment of his plans. In both cases, we have gotten what we wanted. The people’s’ will has prevailed. It remains to be seen whether we will get what we expect.

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