If for no other reasons than the trouble in which we find ourselves, and the hopes that have been inspired by the grueling, successful campaign of Barack Obama, this is a momentous day for the United States and for the world.
The opinions that have swirled around our president-elect remind me of something in the New Testament. In the 28th chapter of Acts we find the Apostle Paul, cold, and wet, just having survived a ship wreck.
Here’s the way the text reads:
“Once we were safe on shore, we learned that we were on the island of Malta. The people of the island were very kind to us. It was cold and rainy, so they built a fire on the shore to welcome us and warm us.
As Paul gathered an armful of sticks and was laying them on the fire, a poisonous snake, driven out by the heat, fastened itself onto his hand. The people of the island saw it hanging there and said to each other, “A murderer, no doubt! Though he escaped the sea, justice will not permit him to live.”
But Paul shook off the snake into the fire and was unharmed. The people waited for him to swell up or suddenly drop dead. But when they had waited a long time and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and decided he was a god” (Acts 28:1-6).
Interesting isn’t it. Paul wasn’t nearly as bad as some of those assumed he was– when they saw him get bit by a snake. But neither was he the god they thought they were seeing– when he survived. Paul was no more and no less than a man God was using for his own purposes.
That same Paul teaches us to pray for our human leaders, that God would use them to help us live honest and peaceful lives (1Tim 2:1-2).
In the shared emotion, fears, and hopes of this day, let’s not forget to pray for Barack Obama.