Transfer of Power

In my lifetime, there have been nine presidents. (Stop trying to figure out my age. I was born at the end of a presidential term.) Nine presidents means eight transfers of power, from one president to the next.

Some of those transfers have been frosty, others warm. But all have been peaceful. I’m so grateful to live in a nation where people can agree to disagree, and be civil about it.

With each new presidency has come a great hope among the American people. Hope for change. For prosperity. For peace and the protection of our homeland, our way of life.

Mount Rushmore Sometimes those hopes have been fulfilled. Other times, they haven’t. But I honestly believe, from the bottom of my heart, that each president has done his best. Each one has tried to live up to the responsibilities placed on his shoulders. Each one has tried to make wise choices, and to provide the best possible leadership he can offer.

There’s just one teensy little problem.

Each president has been human.

Only human.

No matter what his credentials, no matter what experience his cabinet offers, the president is still just a man. He’s not a miracle worker.

No matter how many of the right people he knows, or how well he can present a speech, or how good he looks in a tux, there’s only so much he can do.

So as we place our hope in one man or another, as we watch the transfer of presidential power from one leader to the next, we need to remember to criticize gently and pray fiercely.

I’m reminded time and again that there is one transfer of power which will never fail. It is the transfer of my own will, my own faulty reasoning over to the One who is all-wise, all-knowing, and all-powerful. God is loving, gracious and compassionate. And because He knows the future and I don’t, He is much better qualified than I am to direct my steps.

But God is a gentleman. He will never force Himself on anyone. He has given each of us the power to choose for ourselves, along with an offer to show us the way. He stands ready and waiting to help us experience the best lives possible. But we must offer Him the control panel of our lives. He won’t take it by force.

The choice is ours. We can maintain control of our lives, working and preparing and crossing our fingers that everything will work out okay. But we will always know that there are some things we can’t control.

Or, we can give our lives over to the One who controls the wind and the rain, who influences the decisions of world leaders, and who longs to lovingly lead each one of us. And because He is a good and loving and compassionate God, we can know that His choices for us will always be for our best.

It’s a tough decision. I like to be in control. But honestly, I don’t have such a great track record on my own. When I call the shots, things usually end up in disaster. It has only been when I’ve allowed God to guide my steps that I’ve ended up with the peace and joy I desire.

When I find myself at the steering wheel of my own life, lost without a road map, I have to remind myself of the crash and burn experiences I’ve led myself into in the past. Then, hard as it is, I offer the control back to God. Again.

Fortunately, He is patient with me. He is always there, ready to take over when I ask for help.
And I know He’ll never steer me wrong.

Proverbs 3:5 – 6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.”

2 Responses to Transfer of Power

  1. January 27, 2009 #

    “…criticize gently and pray fiercely.” What great advice, Renae. I pray that I will live up to it…

  2. January 27, 2009 #

    Hi Cheryl! Have you ever been criticized fiercely? It is destructive, not constructive. Harsh criticism tears down, while God would have us build up. I’ve been on the receiving end of such harsh words – I suppose we all have. I try to remember – though I’m not always successful – that love and prayers do a lot more for people than my criticism.

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