Today is inauguration day. The United States gets a new President. This makes 45 new Presidents in our history.
We get a new President every four or eight years – unless something terrible happens. Thanks be to God, that doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.
A minor miracle is that we are one of the minority of nations in which this change of leadership occurs without a coup, military intervention, dissolving of the legislature or imprisonment of political opponents.
The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. — Psalm 9:9
This isn’t to suggest that we are without politicians who have earned prison time. Even in the land of the free and home of the brave, people enter political service poor and leave a few years later wealthy.
There will be a parade, happy crowds, cheering, inspirational words and lots of parties. There also will be angry protestors, demonstrations and confused news commentators.
Those who like our new President have high expectations: lower taxes, strong national security, great health care, abundant energy, less intrusive government and a chicken in every pot.
Know that the Lord secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy. — Psalm 140:12
Those who hate our new President have low expectations: the rich get richer, the poor get poorer, millions of illegal immigrants are jailed, global warming floods Malibu Beach, minorities are enslaved and school lunches halted.
Both sides of the expectations equation will prove wrong. A new President can make a difference, but he can’t turn our nation into the Garden of Eden. On the flip side, he also can’t turn it into Death Valley.
The Psalms offer some insight, because they remind us that it is God – not wee politicians or we the people – who in the end can solve our problems, comfort our hearts, satisfy our souls.
Let’s take that to prayer today.