July 4, 2008, I awoke with a knot of dread.
It was the middle of an election year, and it looked like my three children would grow up under the regime of a character whose middle name was the same as our country’s greatest enemy when I was a child. Hussein.
People extolled the color of his skin, ignoring the content of his character. Old friends started squaring off against each other. People discarded racial headway as this man dredged up angry passions.
The constant barrage of political commentary kept me awake nights as experts guessed whether he’d cool relations with Israel or give Iran nuclear capability or open the floodgates for all manner of sexual perversion.
Many a midnight I’d slip out the door and stand in the farm’s inky blackness. I’d gaze into the Milky Way and beg the God who created it all to give us mercy. For my babies’ sakes.
I had it all played out…
Militant Muslims would be welcomed into the Capitol after Iran strategically delivered a nuke. Congress would be overrun, and Shariah law would be instituted.
Hordes of rioters would loot and burn the cities and then turn to the countryside. To us. I constantly imagined where we would hide. How we would survive. I canned shelves of vegetables and bought staples in bulk, imagining how my foresight might save our lives.
I pictured the judgment of God falling on our country after a betrayal of Israel. Images of Hitler burning the Reichstag and blaming the Jews were revived with Obama’s face superimposed.
I understand the “Not My President” people.
That was exactly how I felt imagining a country led by this hate-arouser. I’d never seen such ugliness in people. What disturbed me most was the wild-eyed worship I observed. Surely Germany in 1933 hadn’t looked much different.
I longed for peace. That morning, July 4, 2008, peace escaped me. I fell to my knees and begged God for revival and peace for our country. As we drove to my parents’ home to celebrate Independence Day, I tried not to think about the economic doom predicted by the news broadcasters. I always plugged my ears against radio reports about the banking collapses.
What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee…What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee…What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee…
Later that day it happened.
“Look in the front yard!” We emptied onto the porch and gasped.
Launching above my parents’ American flag, a brilliant rainbow stretched over the sky like a banner that said (to me), “Fear not. His mercy endureth for ever.”
Here’s one of the many pictures I shot that day, overcome with relief that God would see us through whatever came. I just love Buddy’s shirt.
That day, I left my fear at the foot of the rainbow, the symbol of God’s mercy on undeserving humans. Funny thing is, in Genesis 6 God called it his “bow.” If you imagine the flag above as an arrow, where is the bow pointed?
Toward heaven. Toward the God who would taste death for the sins of every man.
Eight years later…
God has been faithful to His merciful reputation. Our country has deserved judgment, yet God has been gracious. I have deserved judgment, yet God has been gracious.
In the past eight years, I have learned that God isn’t quick to rain fire. I didn’t think I’d see another free election in this country. Today is the first day under President Trump. Wonders never cease.
As to my former fears, many of them were founded. Others weren’t. I just discovered that the man I pleaded for God to prevent, then prayed for Him to preserve, prayed along with me. Here’s a copy of a prayer he stuffed into the cracks at the Wailing Wall, captured by the Israeli paper Maariv:
So to my Trump-fearing friends: Fear not. God is on the throne. The king’s heart is in the hands of the LORD, and regardless what the fearmongers say, things are just as they should be.
We needed Obama. He showed conservatives that God rules in the affairs of men.
We need Trump. He’ll show liberals that God rules in the affairs of men.
Both of them can teach all of us that we don’t know everything.
God bless, my friends. All of you. 🙂