It is 11:30 p.m. and the networks are predicting that the Democrats have taken back control of the House. I see a photo of a jubilant Nancy Pelosi, and no doubt a great many Democrats will be celebrating this victory long into the night with her.
And they should, because this election victory represents the culmination of a great deal of hard work. Elections are won by the anonymous labor of tens of thousands of hard-working volunteers, true believers, for whom the victory of their candidate, and their party, means the birth of a new agenda.
Great hopes rest on this victory. Democrats have felt disenfranchised. Now they will have the opportunity to change the direction of American politics.
Will their joy last?
I think we put too much hope in the ability of politics to solve our problems. Politics always dreams big, but it always delivers far less than it promises. If your joy swings with the political winds, life is going to disappoint you.
Because politicians disappoint. Political parties disappoint. They are absolutely necessary, but they are utterly and completely incapable of solving our biggest human problems.
The joy of victory is sweet, but short-lived. Political power is heady stuff, but it can evaporate as quickly as a mirage on the desert.
God calls us to build a good and just society, and for that we need good and just politics. But peace, joy, and hope are not the fruit of political movements; they are the rain of God’s generous grace on his people, be they Democrat or Republican.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes. — Psalm 118:8,9 (ESV)
Enjoy the victory, Democrats. But put your hopes in the Lord.