I’m glad to live in a country which follows Election Day with Veterans Day. If you’re a veteran or current member of the armed forces, please know that millions of my fellow Americans and I thank you for your sacrifice. We know that you are willing to die that we might live. Your service makes our country possible.
But what kind of country do you serve?
The Washington Post claims that “America woke up Wednesday as two nations.” The article describes the disparity between those who are “jubilant, hopeful, validated” and those who are “filled with fear, pessimism, abject horror.” Anti-Trump rallies continued last night; I could fill this Daily Article with examples of the divides between those who supported the president-elect and those who opposed him.
But let’s take a different approach today.
Rather than focusing on what’s wrong with our nation, let’s focus on what we can do to serve our nation. More than two million Americans woke up today on active duty or in the reserves. They are ready right now to serve as needed. How can we join them? I’d like to share with you an insight that has been guiding my thoughts in recent days.
In 1 Kings 19 we find the prophet Elijah fresh from his astounding victory at Mt. Carmel. The presidential election pales in shock value when compared to what happened when the prophet confronted the king and nearly a thousand pagan priests. You remember the result: God sent fire to consume Elijah’s sacrifice and turned the entire country from Baal to himself. The events that day literally saved the nation.
Then Elijah learned that the pagan queen was plotting to murder him. He was in despair when the Lord met him in the wilderness and directed him to “Horeb, the mount of God” (v. 8). This was about 250 miles away. I’m certain that Elijah had no plans to make such a journey, but he was obedient. As a result, he heard the “low whisper” of God’s transcendent voice (v. 12) leading him to anoint new kings and a new prophet. Elijah’s story and that of his nation changed that day.
Here’s the point: Our detours are often God’s destinations. The most surprising events in life can be used by God for purposes we would never imagine. In a nation still coming to terms with the election and its meaning, you and I can be the Elijahs our country needs. If we will begin this day by standing before our Supreme Commander and volunteering for duty, he will send us and use us and make us more significant than we can imagine.
Can one person make a difference? Just ask Elijah. Does your life matter? “Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky above; and those who turn many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever” (Daniel 12:3).
NOTE: For more on today and its significance for our nation, please see Ryan Denison’s Why We All Need Veterans Day This Year.
Also, I invite you to download my white paper, Where do we go from here? The 2016 election and our future. And I encourage you to order your copy of our 2016 Advent guide. Janet Denison has written Christmas in the Name of Jesus to help us experience the power and presence of the One whose birth we celebrate with joy.