Friday, November 11, 2016

"How Can I Keep From Writing"

My title is in quotes but it probably shouldn't be. I'm referencing the old hymn "How Can I Keep From Singing". The words are wonderful. They say that in spite of all the trouble in the world and the problems we may have, there is great joy in knowing that Christ is Lord. God is in charge and he loves us. He provides for us and will see us through our difficulties. Therefore, how can we not be happy? Indeed, how can we keep from singing?

We've just had a Presidential Election that has shaken many of us. Not only was it a complete surprise that the man who won the election pulled it off, many of us are shaken that he is now President-elect of the United States. He ran a negative campaign that was terrible in its use of lies and innuendo to attack his opponents both in the primaries and in the general election. His own indiscretions made him appear a fool but it never seemed to affect the people who backed him. He once famously said, "I could shoot someone on 5th Avenue [in New York City] and I wouldn't lose any votes." He claimed to know more about opponents on the battlefield than the generals in charge. He has never won elected office before and it seems like his entire appeal is based on his non-politician status and his being an outsider. His followers seem to like the fact that he doesn't know anything about how to be the President because it means he will do things differently. They feel he tells it like it is and he will help them where none of the career politicians ever helped them before.

He tells it like he thinks it is. He doesn't know more than the generals but he doesn't even know that. He has never done anything without the promise of making a profit from it and in fact is a pretty bad business man. He thinks he is a great negotiator but he couldn't even get a widow to sell him her property so he could expand a casino in Atlantic City. How will he negotiate with hostile foreign powers? I am worried about our country's future and worried about my family. So, with all of that on my mind, in spite of the fact that I haven't written in this blog since September, how could I keep from writing this?

But I know everything is in God's hands. As the hymn says, "No storm can shake my inmost calm, While to that refuge clinging; Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, How can I keep from singing?" I can live with that.

Here are the words to the hymn.
My life flows on in endless song;
Above earth's lamentation,
I hear the sweet, tho' far-off hymn
That hails a new creation;
Thro' all the tumult and the strife
I hear the music ringing;
It finds an echo in my soul—
How can I keep from singing?

What tho' my joys and comforts die?
The Lord my Saviour liveth;
What tho' the darkness gather round?
Songs in the night he giveth.
No storm can shake my inmost calm
While to that refuge clinging;
Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth,
How can I keep from singing?

I lift my eyes; the cloud grows thin;
I see the blue above it;
And day by day this pathway smooths,
Since first I learned to love it,
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart,
A fountain ever springing;
All things are mine since I am his—
How can I keep from singing?