Many know that at this moment in time our country is in turmoil. No matter who you are, where you come from, your beliefs or political colour, these times are unprecedentedly hard across the board. It’s hard not to be overwhelmed and overcome with the varying opinions and truths, the division that comes from an us-against-them mentality, and the uncertainty of where our country is headed and what the future will hold. I too have struggled with debilitating anxiety and the passiveness that comes with wanting to just get away from it all. I am reminded, however, that we are not called to turn a blind eye, but to wholeheartedly run the race set before us, eyes wide open in the midst of the fear, the uncertainty, the pain and the messiness of it all.
Regardless of where you stand on any issue that has arisen whether over the last two years or the last couple of weeks, I want you to truly hear this truth: You are loved and you matter, as you have been created and purposed for such a time as this.
Let that sink in. You matter. You deserve life that is whole and true and freeing. You were created for that life, the kind that fills you to the point of overflowing with potential and dreams and opportunities. You were created to both have life to the fullest that life was meant to be, and to bring that life everywhere you go in the midst of every moment.
The reality is that we live in a world that has been set free from the curse of sin, and yet has not reached full healing. Though victory has been claimed, the battle is still raging on. This means that we are in a constant state of tension, being pulled towards the effects of sin while equally yearning for the freedom that comes when we choose to live in and through Christ. With this lens, let’s look at the current state we find ourselves in:
Our country is divided like never before. The left is pitted against the right, fathers and mothers are pitted against their children, life-long friends are being painfully torn apart. When we feel pain, the automatic human response as a result of sin is to go on the defense. It is not ‘natural’ to remain soft and open in the midst of attack. But that’s what we have been called to - imitating the man who is also God that silently endured humiliating abuse, and instead of calling curses upon those who participated in his demise, he looked at them through eyes that saw them for who they really were, who they had been created to be, not who sin had turned them into; he looked at them through the lens of love; and he breathed out forgiveness and redemption.
We are called to imitate Jesus. We are called to “be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger, for human anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness” (James 1:19). And as we rid ourselves “of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevelanet” (James 1:21) and look “intently into the perfect law of freedom,” persevering in it, not forgetting it but taking it to heart and letting it implant into the very core of our being… we will be blessed. Our nation will be blessed.
Canada has a checkered history, yes, but so does all of humanity since the moment Adam and Eve fell for the lies of the enemy. What matters is this: God created this nation. Far before the white settlers came. Far before the wild prairie grasses bent beneath the gentle breezes under the expanse of bright blue skies. For “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things were created through him, and apart from him not one thing was created that has been created” (John 1:1-3). And “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good indeed” (Genesis 1:31).
You see, despite the effects that sin has had on our nation and it’s people throughout all of history, God created this nation, this land and it’s people, on purpose and for a purpose. If we look at the hymn where our national anthem was derived from, we glimpse that purpose. Canada, a land from East to Western Sea, was created to be strong and free. Canada was created to be a place of hope and peace and refuge. Canada is a place where we can rediscover life in its fullness, so that we can again go out into the world. Canada is called to be a servant leader, a bridge-building leader in this world. That is who we are.
Satan hates God. And the best way to hurt God is by destroying what God loves most - His creation, and specifically, His people. Canada has been in a watershed moment for the last while. Because time is irrelevant to God, He’s really the only one who knows how long this watershed moment will last. All I know for sure is that we are called to humble ourselves and pray. We are called to listen, and we are called to pray. There are strongholds over our nation, and right now they are doubling down so that we remain on a path of division and destruction, and ultimately death. But when God’s people get down and pray in complete and utter surrender, even in the midst of hurt and confusion, strongholds will not only be broken, they will be irreparably shattered.
May God bless our nation, and keep her glorious and free as we stand on guard. “For the Lord is faithful; He will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one” (2 Thessalonians 3:3).