Sunday, July 29, 2012

Powerless? Nah . . .

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. – Philippians 4:13 (NIV)
Due to some nasty weather that blew in late Thursday afternoon, the power was out for 15 hours. I wrote my weekly newspaper column on a legal pad in longhand with a pen—out on the back deck, where it’s uncomfortably damp, but where there’s light. When I was done, instead of emailing it to my editor at the Indiana Gazette, I phoned it in, using an old-fashioned, princess-type phone that doesn’t need electricity to work. I couldn't use my cell phone because the signal out here is too spotty.
Friday morning I had cold cereal and hot tea for breakfast—with water boiled in a kettle on the side burner on the outside grill. In the winter when the power goes out, we use the woodstove in the basement to boil water for tea and warm up soups and stews. Why, the best stew I ever made, I cooked from scratch on that flat-topped woodstove. But I’m not heating the house in the summer. If the electricity didn't come back on for homemade pizza Friday evening, no problem. I'd use my new pizza grill pan.
Cleaning, too, can be a challenge without electricity. In the country, when you don’t have power, you don’t have water because the pump needs electricity to run. But I can’t go to bed without at least washing up. So my husband rounded up a couple of dish pans, a 5-gallon bucket, and a large picnic cooler, and placed them beneath the edge of the porch roof. After a few minutes, there was enough for a sponge bath by candlelight. Friday morning, there was more than enough water for a bath, if I wanted one!
It’s funny how you become dependent on something—like electricity. You use it, taking for granted it’s always going to be there when you need it. You don’t even think about it—until you don’t have it.
But God has made us human beings creative enough to come up with ways to overcome surprise situations. We can wallow in our loss, or adjust and adapt to the changes life throws at us. Movies such as Cinderalla Man and Sea Biscuit are popular because they’re comeback stories of real people who overcame great odds to survive.
The electric came back on around 11 a.m. Friday. At least I didn't have to figure out what to do with the food in the freezers, like the time at the end of May when the power was out for more than 24 hours. Then we were ready to use a borrowed generator because everything was getting mushy.

But electric power is a physical power that runs physical things—and, if I had to, I can do without.
But the power that is within me—God’s power—will never flicker, fade or fail. And that’s the power that helps me to survive and overcome when life doesn’t go my way. It’s the power I can’t do without.
Thank you, Lord, for showing me ways to adjust and adapt when life changes. Thank you for placing within reach what I need to cope. Amen.

High winds damaged the corn in our garden. 


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