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Power Outage

Tom Barnard


ew things in the home cause more frustration than a power outage—not a neighborhood power outage, or a city-wide power outage, but a single-family-home power outage. Several years ago we experienced one at our home. It must have occurred when we were sleeping, because we didn’t notice it until we tried to make coffee early the next morning.

It wasn’t a total power outage—only a partial one. One-half of the house had power; the other half had none. But the “had none” half was crucial—air conditioners, computer, microwave, range and oven, televisions, appliances, washer/dryer, garage-door opener. You know—the crucial stuff.

Fortunately, the telephone worked, so we did the normal thing and called the electrical company. They did the normal thing and said it would be some time before they could get a repairman there. “Some time” for them meant late that afternoon—not as bad as next week, but not nearly as good as “We’re on our way.”  

Disconnecting the garage-door opener quickly solved one of the problems, and we were able to raise the garage door manually and gain access to the car for necessary errands that day. But no computer and no television caused all kinds of frustration. And it was a hot summer day—not a good time to be without air conditioning.

When the electrical utility repairman arrived, he discovered the problem quickly. It wasn’t something we did. One of the two “hot” lines into the house had shorted out. It happened underground at the furthest point from the house—near the property line. A temporary hookup was connected, and full power was restored within an hour of the repairman’s arrival. He had to dig down to the line to find out exactly where the short was located. When the section of broken cable was removed, it was discovered that something as small and insignificant as a pin-hole in the cable—located several feet underground and out of sight—allowed just enough moisture to invade the cable and cause the short, making the electrical system only partially operational.

In our spiritual lives internal breaks may occur from time to time. Sometimes it is not something we have done, but something someone else did to us. It could even happen when we were sleeping, so to speak. Some pin-hole-size decision allows unwanted moisture into the recesses of our hearts, resulting in a short circuit and loss of power somewhere in the “system.” Not everything blows at once—just enough to cause aggravation and frustration. For awhile, we may even be able to manage without full power—you know, with candles and flashlights and oil lamps—but not for long.

How should we react when we experience a short-circuit in our spiritual lives? Ignore it? (No.) Walk away from it? (Come on!) Pretend it didn’t happen? (Not recommended.) Try to fix the problem ourselves? (Ouch!) Actually, the only reasonable way to address a personal power outage is to contact the Person who knows all about such problems and knows how to restore normal power in a person’s life. Invite Him into your heart; let Him go about finding a satisfactory solution. There is no problem too small or too big for Him. And best of all, He specializes in house calls. Let me pray with you.

“Heavenly Father, someone reading these words today is experiencing a temporary lapse in their connection with you. This is an unexpected, unwanted thing, and they may be struggling to find a solution on their own. I pray that you will direct their attention to a promise from Your Word that will offer encouragement and peace. If they fail to take the initiative to contact you, I pray that you will find a way to gain their attention, offer grace, and provide the means by which the power in their life is restored. In the strong, powerful name of Jesus I pray. Amen.”

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