“We are ill prepared for living here,” I told my husband on the third day of a power outage. He’d been shoveling the driveway, bringing wood into the fireplace and fire burning stove, and generally working like a crazy man to keep us safe and warm in a cold dark house.
When we first arrived to our new home in the middle of Covid’s 2020, our neighbor, said, “One of the first things you’ll want to get is a generator.”
I think we’ll be just fine, I thought looking at the mayhem of interior demolition. Gaping holes splintered walls in what should have been a living area. Settling in with a couch and chairs was about all I was asking for. A gas guzzling generator was not top priority on what-must-be-done-to-get-settled-in and what-I’m-spending-my-money-on list.
I’ve been literally all over the world, lived in three countries but never in the little over the year we’ve been in this Virginian countryside, have I gone through so many power outages.
Turns out the friendly native knew what she was talking about. No heat, no lights, no water, no gas cooking stove, no internet, no TV, and a fridge and freezer full going to rot have turned this ship around to navigate from waters of mumbling and grumbling to we’ve-gotta-figure-out-how-to-make-this-work.
It strikes me that sometimes the Christian world operates a bit like my own I-can-live-without-it attitude when it comes to Spiritual equipping. We try to run without real power or by our own brilliant reasoning. We read the latest Christian book or blog to fill our spiritual tank.
We learn about the Bible, but we don’t know the Bible. We learn about God, but how well do we know God?
Scripture is the most direct means through which He speaks. When I don’t plug in, I become disconnected with the Source. I become like a house in a snowstorm that has lost power, ineffective and cold.
The fact is many of us are ill equipped to shine for Christ in a spiritually dark world. And the question is: What needs to be done about it? A simple prayer from the Psalms as you open your Bible is a good beginning.
“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” (Psalm 119:18 ESV)
The Psalmist’s humble heart recognized within God’s words were truths high and deep. He approached God’s laws with acknowledgement of need. He declared its written wisdom greater than any learned person’s, author or worldly knowledge. He bowed himself to another Authority.
He expected to find wondrous things.
Recently I had a conversation with a friend. We kind of bumped into one another in the middle of the street during the Christmas rush and in the hurried chat which ensued about the holiday she said, “I’ve tried reading the Bible, but it is just too hard to understand.”
My friend has a long list of earned abbreviations behind her name. The incongruence of this brilliant woman’s statement sort of got stuck in the air somewhere between where we stood, and hovered there a bit.
I sympathize with someone who has not grown up reading Scripture, I understand how foreign the text seems until one is familiar with it, much like many other things worth the effort to learn. I understand that there is a feeling that the spiritual side of life should come without difficulty.
Yet, I also know God reveals Himself through the study of His Word so even a child can understand what God wants to say to him on his level.
She told me briefly about her attempt to read it once upon a time, which soured her on the entire prospect. I suggested some places and ways to begin reading the Bible. Hopefully she left with a thirst to check out what God wrote to her, because He did write to her. He wrote to each of us, and the power of it enters our heart and mind at our level of need.
The Psalmist’s prayer is valid for us too.
“Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.”
Admittedly, there is so much in God’s Word I do not understand. The Author is far beyond my comprehension. My blinded eyes need His Spirit to open them. A seeking mind and heart connected to the Source will discover wondrous things.
We caved and bought a generator. The weather forecast predicts another storm. If the lights go out we will plug in and we will have power. Our fridge and freezer should stay cold. We will recharge our devices and keep at least a few lights shining, and we will not freeze in the dark.
What seems like a mere inconvenience, something you can make do without, hits vital-for-living at some point.
You might also enjoy a recent article of mine at “in the Quiver”
Hiding from 2022
Thank you again, Sylvia for writing straight out of your heart! Love you!
Thank you Susan! I’m always delighted when you read and comment! Love you back.
I loved your thoughts,today.It reminded me of simple,but profound thoughts that we need to hook up to God,our best generator and provider against the cold and dark.
Thanks Jan! Loved hearing your response. Cold and dark can be so difficult to experience. Thanks for taking the time to read and respond!
Great article Sylvia. Your thoughts are so true: “Yet, I also know God reveals Himself through the study of His Word so even a child can understand what God wants to say to him on his level.” I’ve always said that if I can understand the Bible, anybody can!
Jack, I know what you mean. I’ve said the same thing. If I can understand the Bible, anybody can! The hiccup comes in the discipline and maybe before that the desire! Thanks so much for reading and commenting!
What an effective comparison, Sylvia. Thank you for reminding us that the Author teaches us His Word. P. S. I’m glad you have a generator now. 😉
Thank you Jeannie. I’m glad we have a generator now too! Appreciate your comment!
Sylvia, my husband is a semi-prepper so we have stuff I don’t even know what it will do. This is a great example of how we can be spiritually unprepared for life and the future. Our spirits will live forever, but all this physical stuff will be gone. Our most important preparation is in the spirit world. Thanks for sharing.
I love this Barbara! I so know what you mean. How easy it is for me to center my world on the physical and forget to focus on the spiritual above the rest. Thanks so much!
Nancy E. Head
God gave us His Word and His Church to help us make this earthly journey. Great post!
Thank you Nancy. You are so right. He has left behind what we need to accomplish His purposes. Thank you for reading and responding!
“A seeking mind and heart connected to the Source will discover wondrous things.” When you seek God, you will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). Sylvia, I loved your example of the generator. It hit home since many in my area lost power in storms this week.
Our lights haven’t flickered since we bought the generator although we’ve had a couple more storms after! Thank you for reading and commenting. I was challenged when I read the verse of how much I actually open the word expecting wondrous things…or just read without expecting God to speak. Glad you enjoyed it.
Thank you for this enlightening post! I agree about the power of Scripture. When I started viewing reading the Bible as spending time with God my relationship with it and Him changed.
Hope your electrical power is fully restored soon!
Yes! I had the same experience! Thanks so much Candyce!
Such great truth. We prioritize what we value.
Thanks Lynn. We do, and that statement in itself is convicting! Appreciate it!
Sylvia, what an on point post! Your statement, “We try to run without real power or by our own brilliant reasoning. We read the latest Christian book or blog to fill our spiritual tank”- this is so true. It’s easy to get distracted, even with “good things” that we forget they are just a substitute. Putting God’s word on our heart is the best way to fill out spiritual tank. Thank you for this great post!
I appreciate your comment so much Dawn. Substitutes never match the real thing. Thanks so much!
When stores are closed, frozen foods thaw, and there’s no way to prepare them, your priorities do have a way of changing. I remember our first purchase upon moving to Texas was an above-ground storm shelter. One of the next, but like you and not soon enough, was a whole house generator. How many times it has saved my sanity in the midst of the storms of life. Much that way God’s word does. Well said author.
Thanks J.D. A whole house generator would be ideal. I suppose with the Texas storms it is a great investment. I never realized coming from the Midwest how much a generator would be needed here. But, the lesson was valuable too. Thank you for reading and commenting.
I live in a rural area, too. We’ve had times without power and I can attest to the inconvenience of it. I’m sorry yours lasted for days and I’m thankful you’ve gotten a generator. Your message about the power of God’s Word is something most of us can identify with. I’ve been a regular Bible reader for many years, but that doesn’t mean I understand everything. It takes a lot of practice. I’m so glad you were able to provide advice to your friend. As Paul reminds us, we start with mild before we get to the solid food.
Oh yes, the baby food is good stuff too, but I really do enjoy digging! Thanks Katherine. So glad you are also a Bible reader. Nothing can compare with a good dig into what God has to say!