One year, my church decided to give us kids little gifts on our birthdays. Maybe there was a little extra in the budget. More likely I just had a Sunday School teacher with a soft heart. In September, my friend got a fun pencil set. In October my sister got some sort of fall decoration that was beautiful. I couldn’t wait until November because that was my birth month. The first Sunday in November, the teacher asked who had a birthday coming (looking straight at me!). I jumped up to claim my gift. I opened the box and found two little black and white pilgrim candles. I don’t mean to sound ungrateful but what seven year old gets excited about pilgrim candles. I was disappointed but dutifully smiled my thanks to a well-meaning and very kind teacher. I didn’t want to hurt her feeling, but – candles? What a letdown.
But that’s the thing about November. It comes on the heels of autumn leaves against brilliant blue skies, apple picking, apple cider, hay rides and pumpkin carving. November 1st comes right after the sugar high of Halloween and getting to wear the costume that you spent all week working on. By November, most of those leaves have fallen and the few that are still holding on have traded their orange and deep red tones for a quieter soft brown. The trees are taking on a skeletal look as they stretch bony fingers against grey skies. People may decorate their homes with a token pumpkin and cornstalk but not much else. It’s the calm before the storm as they wait for the annual frenzy of Christmas lights. November and Thanksgiving are the quiet time between the “real holidays”.
But this year may be different with all the election hubbub that is swirling around us. I don’t know what will happen on November 8th. I have no words of wisdom to ease worried minds. Only this – November in an election year is a force to be reckoned with. Every news media outlet will be broadcasting right up till the last ballot is counted and the nation will turn weary and worried eyes to the headlines for that first stormy week or so. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the choices we are being faced with. It’s so easy to say, “I’m done, stick a fork in this November turkey.” But don’t. Don’t give up America. On November 9th, we will still have a country. It will look different and hopefully, we will start to see differences in our political parties as the effects of this hurricane of an election blow through.
And something else to remember. On November 9th, God will still be God. He will still love you. He will still reach out to you. He will still guide you along the path the He has laid out. He longs to comfort you. Don’t give up, America.