“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ ”
Acts 20:35 (NIV)
I spoke a few months back about an experience our family had involving power outages and being warned before our power went out. The truth I learned a few months ago was that when things happen in life that are unexpected, I’m assured that they really aren’t a surprise to God. He knows about them ahead of time and already has a solution in the works that is best for everyone involved.
This past week, our power went out again, along with approximately 8000+ other consumers in our county alone. The state was hit hard and while we didn’t receive a text message ahead of time warning of the power outage, we were told it would take approximately three days for restoration. Twenty four hours later, we were downgraded to four days and counting. Our area apparently wasn’t in the high priority zone.
As I stated in the previous post, we now are proud grandparents to a bearded dragon and cold temperatures don’t agree with her. So it’s imperative that we run the generator we have to keep her climate hot and her healthy. As I was driving home from dropping off our littlest today, swinging around to grab hot coffee for myself and my father-in-law, I was thinking about many things in reference to this inconvenience.
First of all, God still prepared us ahead of time. My parents graciously bought us a generator a few summers ago so that I could continue to work with the regular power outages that occur as well as providing water and other necessities. While I don’t mind living off the land, it’s much more comfortable to be able to run your heat and not have to melt snow on your woodburner. However, when my parents gave us that gift, none of us realized we would be owners of a bearded dragon whose very life depends on heat. God made preparations for us years before it was truly needed.
The second truth I realized was God always answers our prayers. Sometimes with a “yes,” sometimes with a “no” and sometimes with “maybe.” But He always answers. And this time, He answered with “no” to the request of not losing power, but “yes” I will be with you through the storm. And He has been. We’ve been inconvenienced but never in danger. We didn’t suffer any major catastrophes, no trees down, no exposed wires – just the added time and money of keeping a generator running with gasoline.
Lastly, inconveniences can awaken us to those suffering around us. Five years ago our town was hit with a tornado that left devastation in its path. Everyone seemed to come together and help one another. While this “storm” was more of an inconvenience than devastation, people are still friendlier with each other. Last night at our daughter’s concert, I brought a book to read while I waited and instead ended up making a new friend. Her mom works for the power company and she graciously, without being asked, looked up our street to see if she could figure out what was the delay. This morning, I shared a cup of coffee with others while we stood in line to pay, instead of coming straight home and getting to work.
God answered “no” to our request this time; but instead of feeling sorry for ourselves or complaining, I’m choosing to see how He can use me to be a blessing to others. By this time next week it will be a distant memory, but I pray that my attitude will be forever changed.
© Cheri Swalwell 2017