Finally, one of Malawi’s long awaited days this year is almost here. Tomorrow, on May 20, 2014 the people of the land of my birth go to elect the President, Members of Parliament (MPs), and Councillors for the next five years. Sadly, for first time since I reached the voting age, I will not be able to cast my vote. Distance has a way of limiting us in a number of ways. But still my prayers and thoughts are with you my countrymen.
I pray that my Malawian brothers and sisters will not forget to remember that whatever happens during the elections was already ordained and written in the Almighty God’s eternal script for his world. History is not autonomous, but it is His (God’s) story. This should comfort us knowing that although we may not be sure of what the future holds, we know for sure who holds the future. Christ is still on the throne.
I also pray for my fellow Christians that they will not take their eyes off Christ as our perfect hope in this fallen world and place it on politicians. Malawi like any other nation in this fallen world has so many challenges. Knowing this, our politicians have promised a lot in regard to making our country a better place to live in. But it might not be long before we find ourselves in the valley of frustration as the hopes that were raised are shattered into smithereens. “Promises and lies” is often the politicians’ best game everywhere.
This is not to say all politicians are not to be trusted. There are some who are godly and have good intentions. But how can we single them out knowing that the heart is so deceiving above all things (Jer. 17:5)? It’s not easy! Yet it is of great comfort to know that the Lord knows all men very well. I pray that God will give Mother Malawi godly leaders. But, even if this happens, we should never never look up to politics as the solution to our fallen world. Ravi Zacharius put it better: “Let’s face it, politics is seldom the answer to any society because it just swings from one extreme to the other and it goes with the whim of whoever is in power.”
Realizing the folly of trusting politics to heal this sin-ridden world, Margaret Thatcher, one of the renowned politicians in our world, used to say: “It is up to the people of faith (Christians) to change their culture, politicians can’t do it.” Brethren, may we continue to shine forth the light of Christ as the beacon of hope for our nation. Whoever becomes the president or MP or councillor is not good enough to bring the hope and satisfaction that vanished once sin entered the world and alienated mankind from God. Since then our hearts remain restless until they find rest in God as St. Augustine put it.
Finally, I know that even Christians just like as any other person voting have a particular expectation of results. But in case, the results do not come out as we expected, let’s remember that Christ still holds the whole world in his hand. He knows best. He alone directs the events and affairs of the world according to his good pleasure and will. Apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 11:33-36: Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him alone are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”
Our prayer should remain the same as we have always prayed in the form our national anthem since 1964:
O God bless our land of Malawi
Keep it a land of peace…
Our own Malawi, this land so fair
Fertile and brave and free.
With its lakes, refreshing mountain air,
How greatly blest are we.
Hills and valleys, soil so rich and rare…
Freedom ever, let us all unite…
One purpose and one goal
Men and women serving selflessly,
In building Malawi.
The Malawi National Anthem
Ravi Zacharius, an address at Brigham Young University in Utah (Accessed on January 19, 2014, http://www.rzim.org/rzim-news/ravi-zacharias-at-byu-and-the-mormon-tabernacle/).