At the stroke of midnight on October 1, 2013, the United States faced the first federal government shutdown in 17 years. As social media explodes in a war of words, we the people sit back and wait to see what will happen next. For many thousands, this means a forced, unpaid vacation from their jobs. For many, this means financial hardship, instability, and loads of uncertainty. For many others, this means disappointed and cancelled plans. As our federal government fights against itself to come to an agreement on healthcare issues, we are forced to wait.
For the past hour, I have scrolled through my social media feeds reading both comical and hate-filled banter on this government shutdown. I’ll leave these tweets anonymous, but here are just a few that were sprinkled through my Twitter feed:
“Govt shutdown but GOP congress still collects pay and insurance. I hope they choke on the irony. Literally choke. #GOPshutdown”
“For Halloween I am going to go as a member of Congress and just stay home and do nothing. #GOPshutdown”
“If the govt is shutting down, I don’t have to pay my taxes, right? I don’t need Obamacare either… #GOPshutdown”
“WIC checks will be suspended effective immediately thanks to the crazy Republicans forcing the gov to shut down. #GOPshutdown”
“The federal gov is responding very poorly to the Breaking Bad finale. #GOPshutdown”
“No words for how devastated I am about the #GOPshutdown – what happened to gov’t FOR the people, by the people? THIS IS NOT OKAY.”
We could probably go back and forth all day on this issue, and more than likely never reach an agreement or a conclusion as to what the government should do. However, that is not my intention today. I am here to suggest to you today that the level of which most have responded to this reveals a severe misplacement of hope and trust. In whom or what do you place your hope and faith? Is it in man? Is it in an organization? Is it in our government? Or is it in the Lord? As I was reading through many of these posts from irritated, outraged, and seriously inconvenienced American citizens, my mind was brought back to a verse in the Bible that I first heard when I was just a child. In fact, I’m pretty sure the words of this verse were made into a song that I sung quite often.
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God.” Psalm 20:7
Misplaced hope and trust will always lead to disappointment. The government and their decisions or lack thereof aside, the truth of the matter is that God is ultimately in control, and each and every person seated in some form of authority over our country was positioned there by God. When the government fails us, God is our hope; He is our strong tower; He is our provider. When the government fails us, we must learn to lean into the fortress of our God. Because the question is not one of “if” others will fail us, but rather “when.” And when they do, I will trust in the name of the LORD my God. You?