The power went out yesterday. It was this crazy, unexpected storm. No rain, no thunder, just wind. Wind so strong it knocked things over, blew things away, and ultimately took out the power. A friend of mine saw a canoe blow across the main road. A canoe!?! As the wind rattled on, I sat in my comfortable home, but I started to feel less and less comfortable. I learned that having well water, meant having no water when the power went out. This is not a surprise you want to unveil when you go to make your screaming newborn a bottle. I went to pop a bag of popcorn, and remembered the microwave didn’t work. I wanted to work out, but couldn’t access my on demand programing, nor could I power on the blender for a post-workout shake. I thought I’d set my son in his swing because he loves how it rocks him and plays music, but it wouldn’t power on. As the house grew colder and colder and my cell battery grew smaller, I decided to leave and take a drive but my garage door wouldn’t open. How about a show on the tablet for the stir crazy toddlers? Well that would have required wi-fi. Hot shower? Not gonna happen. Wash that onesie covered in poo? Gonna have to wait!
We all know we are privileged, we know we rely on and take for granted comforts that more than half of the world doesn’t have access to. It’s so silly to even imagine being inconvenienced by this disruption, yet it affects us. Why was I bothered by any of this, knowing my privilege and how short-lived it would be?
I realized it had very little to do with the storm, and more to to do with my lack of preparation.
If I had known we were going to be without power, I would have planned ahead. I would have made sure the flashlights had batteries, borrowed a generator or made plans to spend the night at a friend’s home. I would’ve stocked up on water, and gotten out the camping stove so I could still heat food. And I definitely would have made sure we had firewood for the fireplace and pulled all of the warm blankets out from storage.
It would have been a whole different story. But when a storm comes and we have no light, when it gets cold and we have no heat, when we’re hungry and we can’t find nourishment, or thirsty and can’t access a drink- it can feel like weight of our suffering is too much to bear.
But as followers of Jesus, we don’t have to be unprepared. We never have to face a storm and be completely undone. The Bible promises this, “in this world we will have trouble”. We know we will experience loss, grief, trials, hardships and heartaches of all kinds. This deep suffering will sting, will hurt, will wound, but if we’re prepared, we can make it through.
How will we be ready? How will we be prepared? We must stock up on the light that only comes by being in the presence of Jesus, the warmth of authentic Christian community, and the hunger and thirst quenching Word of God. We must be in His presence, in His nourishingWord, and in community with His people. So not if, but when the darkness comes, we are ready. We are prepared to face the storm.