When the Lord gives me insight into any particular area...and I discern something contrary to what is being presented and applauded as "good" and "right" ...I often find myself needing to process through a time of deep grief and mourning...after my initial righteous anger settles. (This does not mean I always express righteous anger in a sinless way...quite the contrary... lol)
Yesterday was not easy. I felt an enormous burden for our nation. The loss of so much... that so many do not even recognize as loss. I wept for hours.
Then, I began to communicate things to the kids like..."We will have opportunities now to minister to our hurting communities...in ways that we might not have if the Lord had not allowed this darkness to prevail."
"If Rome could fall..."
"There will always be a remnant."
"The Lord sees the big picture...we do not."
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.'
"In this world you will have trouble...but do not fear...for HE has overcome the world."
All the things believers remind themselves of when they are tempted to despair.
The below letter was sent to me by a friend.
I'm writing to you to explain why, even after a late and discouraging evening that stretched past 1:00 a.m. on the East Coast, I was back at the office before 8:00 a.m. this morning.
And why the sinking feeling I felt last night has already been replaced with a deep determination.
And why I'm going out to buy equipment for our new office this afternoon.
And why we are going to build, build, build -- despite a stunning and, for me, unexpected defeat.
+ + Let's Be Clear: We Just Got Pummeled
Before I go on, let's be clear: last night was a defeat, and I didn't see it coming. I expected a "Tea Party Wave" -- perhaps a 300+ electoral-vote victory for Romney. All the signs seemed to be there. The 2010 elections, the failed recall of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and even the Chick-fil-A Day pointed to a re-shaped political landscape. The polls and crowds made it clear that there was more enthusiasm with Romney.
But that wave never came. The people did not rise up and reject Obama's statism. Quite the opposite -- 15 million fewer people voted, and Romney earned less votes than John McCain did four years ago.
+ + Far Worse Than 2008
Upon reflection, what happened last night was far worse than what happened in 2008. Our first "dance" with Obama was mostly about smoke and mirrors -- "hope and change" that was never really defined. For many Americans, Obama 2008 was more an idea, an idealized dream and a collective catharsis from our dark past.
But Obama 2012 was something altogether different because now we know the real Barack Obama. We watched him advance the most radical leftist agenda since at least FDR. We saw him rape and pillage the free market and impose a government takeover of industries. We witnessed him go to foreign nations and apologize for America and then leave our people alone to die in Benghazi.
This time we knew Barack Obama. Yet a majority of American voters said, "More!" The opposition to Obama's agenda never really showed up at the polls.
We can try to console ourselves by saying it was a close election ... that the leftist media gave Obama the election ... that we couldn't really expect a Northeastern liberal Republican to be our standard bearer ... that a bizarre hurricane swung the election.
All that may be true.
But it matters little now. And the less time we spend blaming each other or the trickery of the other guys the better.
So here's why I'm more determined ... why I'm building.
+ + A 2,500-Year-Old Letter Written for Today
I want to share with you a letter that, although 2,500 years old, it could have been written this morning. For us. For faithful patriots who feel like they just discovered they will have to live at least the next four years in exile.
This letter was written to Jewish exiles who had been pushed out of Jerusalem and forced to live under a tyrannical ruler named Nebuchadnezzar.
The exiles wanted one thing: they wanted to be re-established back in Israel. They even had a prophet named Hananiah come to them and tell them that their time of exile would only last two years.
You can read about it in Jeremiah 28.
Hananiah was a false prophet. He died.
And so Jeremiah wrote a letter to the exiles. You've probably heard a part of that letter recited many times. It's one of the most commonly quoted passages in the entire Bible. Unfortunately, this passage is mostly taken out of its proper context and delivered as a "feel good" word that everything is going to be O.K.
One of my friends was quoting this verse yesterday morning:
+ + The Plan Was Exile
Here's the shocking context of Jeremiah 29 (and I offer to you, the context for November 6, 2012): the plan was exile.
That was the "plan" Jeremiah's letter was talking about. I encourage you to go read all of Jeremiah 29. Here is the immediate context:
If you don't believe me, go back and read the beginning of the letter, from Jeremiah 29:4. Here you'll see the Lord (through Jeremiah) giving the Jewish exiles specific instructions on how to conduct themselves in exile:
--Plan gardens and eat what they produce.
--Marry and have sons and daughters.
--Marry off your sons and daughters so they can have children.
--Increase in number; do not decrease.
+ + Seek the Welfare of the Land
It gets better. Because Jeremiah's letter makes it clear that building and marrying is not enough. People in exile must do something else -- they must be a blessing to the land.
But why was this important? Why a "plan" for exile with specific instructions on how to act in exile?
Historians tell us it was during the Babylonian captivity that the Israelites moved from a Temple/Jerusalem focused society to a synagogue and community focused society. Simply put ...
It was the lessons learned during their time in exile which enabled the Jews to survive 2,500 years in exile. But not just survive -- but to thrive and become the most prosperous, most successful and most innovative people group in the history of civilization.
Exile was the plan.
So that's why, today, I'm going to build. And I'm going to plant. I'm going to bless. And I'm going to pray.
For that is the final piece to the puzzle ...
Steve Elliott, Grassfire
P.S. If this message is an encouragement to you, please share it with your friends.