Watching the news can be like anesthesia; the trauma of lost and displaced lives adds up as stories of power struggles, wars, violence and natural disasters leave me feeling numb. The faces on the screen no longer feel real. I pick up the remote, turn off the television and move on with my day.
But then the news happens to people I know, people with ordinary lives, people like me. I befriend a visiting Turkish student who unsuccessfully tried to help a homeless Syrian family who showed up on her street; I meet young Ukrainians who will return to an uncertain and war scarred region at the end of the summer. Their future and safety are to be determined. Then there’s the local pastor and his wife who lost their son to random gun violence as he returned home from a high school graduation party.
It is a broken, fallen world and who do we ask to fix it? The weight of the world can fall heaviest on the shoulders of our leaders; look at our two term Presidents and compare photos taken at the beginning and end of their administrations; the differences are pronounced. Leadership exacts an exorbitant toll. Regardless of whether or not I like a leader and his or her policies, God has allowed that person to occupy a place of power. Paul has clear instructions for us concerning our leaders,
I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for everyone—for kings and all those in authority, that we might live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good and please God our Savior who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1Timothy 2:1.
Lord forgive me for when I am more likely to complain about a leader than actually pray for them. May I put my trust first in you as my Savior and Deliverer, and not fail to lift up those in authority over me. Amen