Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Should I Pray for Peace?

It’s an election year.

In America, but also in…



Cape Verde





Equatorial Guinea







The Gambia

And, in Uganda

Every five years, Ugandans vote for their president, members of parliament, and many other lower-level posts. Voting for the president occurs this Thursday, Feb. 18, and begins a several-week election process, ending mid-March.

While I have been keeping an eye on American politics, my interest is more keenly on what’s happening outside my own “front door.”

Truthfully, many Ugandans are tense and uneasy. The race is much closer than in past years and President Museveni, in office since 1987, has a higher likelihood of being replaced this time around. What is making us uneasy is what may occur after the voting – when people of any candidate are not happy with the results. And, the “losers” may not willingly or easily concede.

Yesterday, tear gas was released in the capital city of Kampala. One of the top presidential candidates defied a traffic re-routing order, was arrested, and later released. Last week, five people died in the Jinja area reportedly when the overloaded campaign truck they were riding in failed to navigate a corner and overturned. In addition to the deaths, many were injured.

So, we have been praying months and weeks for peace and safety and protection for Uganda and its people.

Yet, “peace” may not be what God wills for Uganda. By “peace” I mean how we mortals normally define it – as no interruption of our comfort and security.

Often what God wants goes directly against “easy and comfortable” for us, though it's for our greater good. Within sight of the cross, Jesus sought relief from the incredible and agonizing burden ahead, but He chose the Father’s will above His own physical well being. And, when we read the closing chapters of the greater world story God is telling, the unfolding of the end is anything but “peaceful.”

As Christians and citizens of the heavenly kingdom, we should desire God’s will above our own security, over the protection of those around us, more than provision of our physical needs.

We can do that because God’s already taken care of those matters. He hasn’t lost His grip on us or on the world. He remains as He always has been – King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

My ultimate security is not in who becomes president in Uganda or in America or in any other country. My “peace” should not depend on if my status quo life continues uninterrupted.

I do desire for protection and no loss of life, but ultimately I yearn for God’s peace – the kind that doesn’t necessarily dispel the storm, but rides it out with me.

My peaceful confidence is in the overarching sovereignty of God.

“He (Daniel) said, ‘Praise the name of God forever and ever, for He has all wisdom and power. He controls the course of world events; He removes kings and sets up other kings.’” Daniel 2:20-21 (NLT)

“No one from the east or the west or from the desert can exalt themselves. It is God who judges: He brings one down, He exalts another.” Psalm 75:6-7 (NIV)

“The king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; He guides it wherever he pleases.” Proverbs 21:1 (NLT)

Yes, I will pray for peace, but for God’s peace and for His will to be done in Uganda, in America, and on earth as it is heaven.

“’Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.’” John 14:27 (NIV)

“’I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.’” John 16:33 (NIV)

Note: Country elections list from https://www.ndi.org/electionscalendar

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