“Jeff Cook wants to sell your house if you’re moving to Canada because of Trump or Clinton.” That headline caught my attention recently when the Charleston City Paper posted it on social media. The short news article included a picture of a billboard featuring the claim, “Moving to Canada? We can sell your home.” The billboard also had pictures of not only real estate agent Jeff Cook, but also both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
We saw the billboard in person when we made a trip down Highway 17 a couple of days later. No, I’m not planning to sell my house or move to Canada, but I thought it was clever marketing. Clever, and funny.
I’ve read about celebrities and other well known people making the declaration that they will move out of the United States if the less than desirable candidate, in their opinion, is elected. Moving is expensive and exhausting. That’s a lot of effort and expense that might be better spent right here trying to make this country more like what they think it should be. It would save them the trouble of updating a passport, packing up the junk in the attic, and dealing with customs at the border. I haven’t heard many claims about what they will do if their preferred candidate gets elected.
A few years ago I found myself in a difficult situation, perhaps surprisingly not of my own doing. The actions of other people were forcing me to make decisions I didn’t feel I was ready to make yet -- or even at all.
If I had seen that billboard then, I might have been tempted to take it way more seriously and who knows, could even be speaking French by now. My struggle was not about a presidential election, but it was about the authority over and in my life. I no longer wanted to be around the people who were forcing difficult circumstances on me.
I wanted to flee. As a matter of fact, that’s all I wanted to do. I was tempted to run away and never look back. Even people close to me encouraged me to go, just quit and get out. I was certain the grass was greener anywhere and everywhere else. I was so tempted.
I searched for scripture verses that might help me justify fleeing. After a little research and reading, I didn’t find much confirmation that fleeing difficult situations is always a definite “yes” in God’s book. Mostly, summing up the verses I found, the Bible directs me to flee temptation, not difficult situations. Specifically, flee the temptation to sin.
I also searched for scripture verses that would help the pain and anguish of dealing with the difficult circumstances and people. I found verse after verse about persevering. I read verses about endurance, putting on armor, fighting the good fight, pressing on, standing firm, and on top of all that, being joyful about it.
Be joyful about hanging in there and flee the temptation to sin. It’s not always easy.
Sometimes you have to flee the temptation to flee.
It didn’t happen overnight, but I finally realized I had developed strength by persevering under the pressure of those difficult circumstances. That strength gave me the ability to relieve those overbearing people of the counterfeit authority in my life that I had unwittingly assigned to them. It really wasn’t theirs anyway.
Here are fourteen words that say it all: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
We don’t have to flee. We just have to give God the authority over our lives. Let Him deal with those overbearing people and politicians. Then we’ll see the backside of the devil as he’s running away. Isn’t that a joyful thought!
This was originally posted July 31, 2016 on www.walterborolive.com