We need to talk about Brexit

There, I said the B word. It's the big elephant in the room. 'They' say never to talk about religion, money or politics.... Well I've done religion, that's kind of what this is all about, and I know I'll probably do money at some point, so I'm diving into politics. 



I remember waking up on June 24th 2016. My husband sat next to me staring at his phone. He looked at me with raised eyebrows and just said "We're leaving".

Now back then I didn't know what I know now. Back then, I still had an ounce of faith in our government. I assumed that Brexit was at least possible, and that the government would do all the necessary things to ensure they could exercise the will of the people without ruining the nation. I assumed that the government wouldn't carry out an act of willful self harm. And I knew that in any case, the referendum was merely advisory and not legally binding, so there would always be a way to ensure that the country's best interests were enacted... Right?

And yet, as I sat there in bed, reading the news on my phone, I felt sick in my stomach. I had this impending sense of doom. I couldn't help but feel that the world had changed, but I wasn't sure how. All of a sudden there was much uncertainty and I couldn't look to the future with confidence anymore.

That's (part of) the problem. However you voted - whether it be leave or remain, whether you've changed your mind either way since - there's a sense of uncertainty. A lack of confidence. If we knew what was happening, whether we agreed with it or not, it wouldn't feel so scary. We could prepare. We might realise that actually our jobs and businesses aren't in jeopardy, or actually we don't need to stockpile food and that our imports might be OK. Kent might not turn into a lorry park! NHS staff would know that they could stay here, that they are very welcome, and they wouldn't be leaving our hospitals in droves.

But God is sometimes a God of uncertainty too. Sometimes he just asks us to trust him. He gives us the next few steps, but not the whole road map. Why? Because He wants us to trust Him. And we need to be people who can 'smile at the future' - whatever is going on, however we might be feeling about it - we have a supernatural confidence.

The week before the referendum happened in 2016, my pastor decided to actually speak into the situation. Without giving a hint as to which way to vote, or revealing his own opinion on the matter, he beautifully reminded us that whatever the outcome, God is still God. God is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is bigger than Brexit, bigger than political uncertainty, bigger than economical uncertainty, bigger than food insecurity, bigger than unemployment figures.

Our country is divided. Some might say it is no longer the country we could be proud of in 2012, or the great nation that we celebrated at the Queen's Jubilee. There are stories of families torn apart because of the way people voted, friendships lost... That cannot be right. We've all seen dehumanising, horrific comments from keyboard warriors surrounding the Brexit debate (on both sides) - when did that become acceptable? When did we ever normalise outright racism, intolerance and prejudice? And when did our country stop caring for its own, causing people to feel so overlooked, so disenfranchised? When did we ever think that it was us or them, rather than just caring for all? 

It's sad. 

But I hope, beyond hope, that whatever occurs over the next month and beyond, we can be a people marked by love. Can we be a people who laugh at the future, no matter our fears? Can we trust that whatever happens, God is still God, and He's bigger than our fears? Can we set aside our political identities and remember that instead we are Kingdom people? I hope so. 

I pray that however you're feeling about the current political climate, you won't live in fear of the future, but you'll have a confidence in God that His plans are secure, His plans cannot be thwarted, and that He will provide for you and protect you, whatever the outcome.


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