I am happy to report that we made it through the wild winter storm over the weekend! As expected we did not get much snow, but quite a bit of freezing rain on Friday and Saturday which led to power outages. The lights in our house clicked off and on during Friday afternoon and evening and finally went out for good just before ten that night. They did not to go back on again until Sunday at 1:00 PM.
Those 39 hours without lights and more importantly without heat (with the temperature out on our back deck hovering around 22 degrees the whole time) proved to be quite interesting! Once again I am thankful that I obeyed that still small voice on the inside of me that prompted me to go back to our local Walmart on Friday morning and purchase a small inside-safe propane heater I had looked at on the previous day. I am not sure what we would have done without it!
Many things go through your mind during extreme weather induced situations. We actually had endured a similar but worse situation when we lived in Oklahoma when that ice storm was a lot worse and the power was off for almost three days. At that time we were living in a home in a new development with very few old trees. We didn’t notice any of the damage the radio was talking about until we finally braved the conditions to go to church for the midweek service (we knew the church had power and would be warm!). When we drove out of our neighborhood into the rural surrounding, we were all spell bound as it looked like a bomb had been dropped! Almost all the old growth trees lining the road had either fallen over or their branches hung at weird angles having cracked on the trees under the weight of the ice!
Needless to say that brought back some concerns as our new home sides and backs up to forested areas. I could see the ice on the trees and was slightly comforted that it wasn’t anything like the storm of the century that hit us in Oklahoma! Although I did hear some cracking and popping whenever I went out to check on things. I am thankful for many things this weekend, one being that we only had a few branches come down and bend our wire fence in the backyard. Some of our neighbors were not as lucky as there are some large trees and branches down in their front yards. From what I have observed there is no property damage though.
Besides learning of some items that I will need to purchase since we are out in the country like a generator and a chain saw, I would say that the greatest lessons I learned through this experience were thankfulness and the faithfulness of God. Sunday morning was probably the greatest test of all. My cell phone was almost out of juice and we were down to three canisters of propane. The propane concerned me the most as we weren’t slated to have our power on until late the next evening!
On the positive side, I awoke on Sunday with the sudden revelation that I could charge my cell phone through the battery on my laptop which still had a couple of hours of charge on it! (Oh yea… the other item to purchase was a car charger for the phone!) So the first thing I did was to plug it in and get it up from 10% power to 60% before the computer was down to 10%. Another thought that popped into my head as I was getting ready for the day was from Philippians 4:6 where it states “Never worry about anything. But in every situation let God know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks.” (God’s Word ©)
That encouragement came back to me later while I was brewing up some coffee on one of our camp stoves. I was praying at the time and was telling Papa God that I was very concerned for my wife and my ability to care for her with supplies looking like they were running out. Once His encouraging words wafted up to me like the fragrance of the coffee percolating next to me (I think I finally learned how to make a good cup of camp coffee after ALL my years of camping experiences!), I felt an instant covering of His peace. So without any further ado I got on my knees and prayed that the power would go back on that day… and I followed it throughout the next few hours with lots of heartfelt verbal thanksgiving.
Well, since I am also a proponent of doing all that we can in the natural while standing in faith, my wife and I hopped into the car after breakfast (Sunday ended up being clear and sunny – got all the way up to 37 degrees - and our driveway and the road were clear and dry!) and headed into town. As I was expecting, there was no propane to be found but did pick up a car charger for the phone and a couple of candy bars. It was also nice to walk in the sun and let it warm the cold I was beginning to feel down to my bones!
Even though we couldn’t get the propane I still had an uncanny peace as we drove through the beautiful countryside on the way home. Then when we pulled up to our driveway and began to turn in, I saw it and began to shout and rejoice! Up on the front porch, the light was on! I tell you, I felt like a little kid as I kept tapping Piper on her lap and saying… “The porch light is on! The porch light is on!” Two thoughts came immediately to mind. The first was the faithfulness of God to His Word and our obedience and faith to it… and Tom Bodett’s, the spokesman for the Motel Six chain, famous closing line on their commercials: “We’ll leave the light on!”
You Know… with God, His light is always on! We all go through times that stretch us, test us, maybe shake us a little, and build our faith all at the same time. The key though is our looking to and depending on Him. For when we come to God with our needs “in prayers and requests – WHILE GIVING THANKS…” we will experience His peace and faithfulness to His Word – EVERYTIME! And once again, I am living proof of this! I bet you are as well!
Think on that as you face this new week. Keep focused on Him and keep asking yourself… When, Why and What experiences am I expecting to bring to Him in prayers and requests – while giving thanks – today?”