My area experienced an power outage last evening. My husband and I were sitting in our living room watching television, as is our usual custom after dinner. Power went out, came back on, and went out again in a matter of minutes. Power came back on after another minute, only to go out and stay out five minutes later. After ten minutes or so, I called our elderly neighbor to see if she was ok and it appeared we were going to be stuck like this for awhile. We looked at each other blankly in this still, silent house. My house is never quiet; the TV or music is usually on, the air conditioner is running or the computer is being used...something is making noise. But we only heard the children outside, playing chase games and impromptu games of catch.
We fell into old habits; "which movie do you want to watch?" - "I'll just check my e-mail" - "I'll do a load of laundry" - laughing at ourselves in the process. How dependent we have become on electricity. Even going into another room, while not yet dark out, we automatically reached for the light switch to turn on the light. It began to get warm in the house. With no air conditioners on and the windows being closed, the house sat like a turned off oven. I wilt in the heat and have become quite dependent on the AC. We took our three dogs outside and sat on the back porch. As night began to draw near, the mosquitoes also came out in full force, driving us back indoors. The house was even darker now, and seemed quieter still, almost uneasy quiet. I knew I would not be able to sleep; it was too warm and I also have sleep apnea. I must wear a C-PAP mask, to prevent my spells of gasping for air while I stop breathing during sleep.
With the windows open, the candle flame flickered enough to make reading impossible. "What did people used to do before electricity?" I wondered aloud. I looked around my home - everywhere I looked, electricity was required to do an activity. Even my cell phone was useless; the battery needed charging. Everything needed electrical power, it seemed. My husband set his alarm on his cell phone and went up to bed. I stayed downstairs, surprised at how much I needed to have power to keep me occupied.
His voice came softly at first; I almost missed it because the distracted fragments in my mind were so random. "You have all the power you need - you have Me", He spoke. A favorite hymn skittered through my mind." All I have needed Thy Hand hath provided, great is Thy faithfulness, LORD unto me." While I was uncomfortable, the heat wasn't really that oppressive. I wasn't tired and did not have to get up early, so I did not need to sleep by a certain time. I began to appreciate how God had provided that air conditioner, that television, those movies, the books and all the other things I have that I have taken for granted. My health wasn't suffering at this moment, my husband was sleeping peacefully upstairs, I have a roof over my head and I certainly am not lacking food. My power-less time turned into a Power-filled time spent thanking Him for all He has done and supplied for me.
I jumped in my seat at 11:35 PM when the lights came back on. I went around the house resetting clocks, closing windows and being thankful, once again, for air conditioning. I climbed into bed in my air conditioned bedroom, put my C-PAP mask on, and found myself thanking Him once again for showing me a glimpse of all He provides for me.
It really isn't about me; it's about a man Who died on a cross for me. That's the power that sustains me.