“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”