The events of the last 18 months or so have left our heads spinning. Today, I find myself asking, “What just happened?” Waaaay back in 2019, most of us, I imagine, were looking forward to welcoming in 2020, only to be confronted with a nasty reality check.
Very early on we saw a government, as well as many in positions of leadership who were confounded with how to deal with the new events and changes, not the least of which was a virus. This challenge gave birth to many of the delirious “offspring” we see invading our country today.
Confusion owned the day–riots, and protests prevailed throughout the land. It was as though someone or something took our Ant Farm and shook it hard. We continue today to be a very crazed lot looking for stability; stability which I believe will be a very long time in returning… if ever.
Social restrictions weigh heavy upon our economy and our health. Hospitals have been, and are over-flowing, yet incentivizing the reporting of cases compromised integrity. Cars are hard to buy, and house prices are soaring through the roof. Debt has swelled. Airlines and businesses are desperate for some kind of footing. Stocks are raging. Staples are in short supply (including toilet paper and water again!). Government spending is skyrocketing, prompting rampant inflation. Panic buying and fear can be seen throughout this once favored land.
The messages from pharmaceutical companies, social media, and every branch of government are convoluted and contrary, changing daily, or even hourly. We have been forced into lockdown situations, and demands which seem to mark a constitutional overreach by the government. To many, it seems that leadership has failed its constituents.
Town and civil managers shaming the people they are supposed to serve does not set well. Nor do we trust news media, or social media, and even clergy. The credibility of politicians has plummeted. We seem to even be lacking trust for our neighbors and even our own families.
Trust has been shaken if not altogether lost. Foundations are rattled and cracked and have paved the way to a much more authoritarian flavor of government. Uncontrolled mandates are dangerous and threaten the legislative nature of our roots. Over-reach breeds a mistrust of federal and local governmental agencies, Big Pharma, medical professionals, “scientists,” and perhaps, healthcare in general, as well as attorneys, city councils, or corporate boards. We do not trust “leadership” as much as we used to.
At times, it seems less about coronavirus than vaccine, and less about vaccine than control–Maybe less about control than tyranny. For quite some time citizens, small businesses, and churches have tried to play by the arbitrary and fluid rules imposed. Agents of tyranny are guilty of abusing the power entrusted to them. But we shall see just how far that plays out. There are those who do not trust any longer the leadership having such authority, and desire to take it away from them. Yes, there are those that would be happy to do so.
Above all, authority has been given and affirmed by a Sovereign God (Romans 13). So, authority comes from the top down. But, what should we do when mandates of government are contrary to the Word of God? Trust, on the other hand, comes from the bottom up. With an erosion of public trust, a lethargy of responsiveness, if any at all, could be anticipated. So, where is a country to go when trust of the people has been lost, trust in the authority above them is so reduced?
Certainly, I would think most would agree that things seem unstable, or unhealthy. But, what will be the end of this chaos? History teaches us that when words fail, when civil discourse and the pen fall short, the sword comes… authority can be challenged and revoked.
Accountability is the next leg on this three-legged chair. One hopes that efforts to right the drifting ship are successful through legislative channels, perhaps through public appeals. One hopes those in leadership are sensitive to the corporate will of the people and the sovereign mind of God. One hopes that “consent of the governed” still means something. But when the populace feels that they have been silenced, and moved to the margins, that in itself is a harbinger of scary times ahead.
If you believe that present leadership in this state and country are overwhelmingly Spirit-filled Christians, that they are following Scripture and abiding in Christ, then we would likely be at odds about what the fruit of Christianity should look like. Something needs to be done.
On the other side of this great mess (if we ever get there), some leaders will have revealed themselves to be, well, not very good leaders at all. Others will have so compromised their integrity, their reputations, that they would do well to step down, to humble themselves, and be a bit slower to speak.
Still, in the meantime, we are called upon in 1 Timothy 2:1-2 to pray for those individuals currently in authority over us:
First of all, then, I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men, for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity.
I do not feel times of late have been tranquil or quiet. I am very unsure about the future of this once-favored land. Yet, wherever these times of uncertainty take us, we may still appeal before the throne of grace on behalf of those with whom we take issue.
Satan, I am sure thinks everything is going according to plan… He would be right.
Just not according to his plans.