I think my pastor spoke for millions of Americans on this first Sunday after Election Day. He simply said, "I'm exhausted." Beyond the battle fatigue, there's a wide - and passionate - range of emotions. From celebrating to grieving, from anticipation to anger, from relief to fear, from hope to hurt. With the political battlefield strewn with damaged relationships, raw emotions, finger-pointing, conflicting passions - and lots of uncertainty.
It's a moment for those Jesus called His "light" to shine! To be thermostats - setting a Christlike temperature - rather than thermometers, reflecting the heat and stress around us. In a word, to be healers, each in our little circle of influence. From Facebook to "water cooler" conversation.
Thankfully, God has given us in His Word timeless guidance for times like these. We've listened to the politicians, the pitches, the promises, the pollsters, the pundits - it's time to listen to our Prince of Peace. And choose His way.
Ten Healing Choices for a Hurting Time
"When the foundations are shaken, what shall the righteous do? The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord is on His heavenly throne." Psalm 11:3-4
As the roller coaster of history gives its passengers another wild ride, it is - and it always will be - attached to the track of the God who rules it all. The Creator of two trillion galaxies. The Lord of history. The turbulence and trauma of this time can reveal that we may have unknowingly turned to other gods to fix our nation. It's a good time to be sure our trust is in the right place.
"Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace." Ephesians 4:2-3
Humility, gentleness and patience are rare. But that's exactly how Jesus would be. How those who carry His Name should be.
"Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another." Romans 12:15-16
There are lots of wounded people right now. And deafness to the fears, the uncertainty, the despair of many folks, whether winning or losing. The people of Jesus are the ones who must reach out with empathy and understanding.
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up, according to their needs." Ephesians 4:29
On social media, in conversations, mean-spirited talk widens the divide and deepens the wounds. Kind words are light in a dark place.
"I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This pleases God our Savior." 1 Timothy 2:1-3 (NLT)
This call to pray for those in government was written when the world was under the thumb of the Roman Empire. No matter the government, Jesus calls us to pray for those in authority - because "the heart of the king is in His hand" (Proverbs 21:1).
"You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You." Isaiah 26:3 (NLT)
Thoughts fixed on the headlines or the circumstances are bound to leave us fearful or anxious or angry. Choosing to focus on Jesus as Lord is choosing peace in the middle of the storm.
"Be slow to speak, quick to listen and slow to become angry." James 1:19
The healer is the one who listens when everyone else is talking. Trying to hear hearts, not just words.
"Let your conversation be always full of grace...so you may know how to answer everyone." Colossians 4:6
It's a moment when we who have received so much grace from Jesus must extend grace freely to others. Just like Jesus with us.
"In your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with great gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15
Contagious hope - that's the magnet in a Jesus-follower. And bringing hope with you wherever you go makes you a "make a difference" person in a hurting time.
"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." Matthew 5:9
Bringing people together, speaking calm in the chaos and faith amid the fear - that's "God's kid"!
"You shine like stars in the universe, as you hold out the Word of Life..." Philippians 2:15-16