Late last night two scared little girls gathered around me in the dark. Our power went out around 10:30 pm and it was immediately stuffy and hot. When the power is out we can’t run the pump to have water to flush, wash our hands or bathe. The girls wandered out of their room, scared because of the dark, the heat and the quiet.
After a day of no power the first week they were here, and after an afternoon of no electricity on Thursday due to a large truck failing to get around a tight corner and taking out a power pole, our girls know what a power outage means-
Rule #1: Don’t put your TP in the toilet.
Rule #2: Don’t flush.
Rule #3: Don’t wash your hands.
Rule #4: Don’t open the fridge.
And the Fact the remains in the forefront of everyone’s mind: IT IS GOING TO BE HOT.
As they clamored for attention I felt myself getting snippy with them- I was sweating and harried, and I didn’t really relish the idea of enduring a hot night myself, especially if it was going to be fraught with interruptions.
Realizing that my own attitude was going to escalate the problem, we sat down to pray. First, I explained to the girls what a privilege having electricity is, and how many, many, many people go through their lives without it. I explained how it has only been in the last century and a half that people have gotten used to it, and how for years and years little girls just like them have been sleeping in the Philippines without air conditioning or even fans.
I could tell they were calming down. I heard Button’s little voice that had been so worried and cross before say cheerfully, “Yes! People have lived like this for a long time! It’s ok.”
I reminded the girls of a devotion that we read recently that encouraged us to find something good that God might be doing even when things look bad.
We took turns praying. Squeaky started off by asking for God’s help to trust Him even when bad things happen. Button continued, offering up her little voice in petition to God that He would perhaps allow the electricity to come back on but help her trust Him in the meantime. They both thanked God for all the times we’ve had electricity and didn’t appreciate it enough.
As we finished praying we sat quietly chatting in the dark. Their voices were more cheerful now and even though the sweat was dripping down my face I felt a tiny breeze float in through the window and as I thanked the Lord for it my spirit was lifted.
Just as I was settling the girls on the living room floor where they’d catch a bit of a breeze the power came back on. Oh, that moment when the power comes back on. It brings a huge feeling of tentative relief- tentative because often it will roar to life only to go off again moments later and plunge everything in darkness again. We collectively held our breath for a moment or two, then sighed with relief as it stayed on. The girls were cheering and praising God for His answer to prayer.
They bounced off to bed, delighted. I returned to my room, relishing the cool air drifting down from the noisy air conditioner. As I climbed into bed I prayed and thanked the Lord for God’s loving hand that allowed the electricity to come back on just as two little girls and one mommy prayed for more faith to trust Him.
I thought of this verse, especially the part that says, “When he calls to me, I will answer him:”
Because he holds fast to me in love, I will deliver him;
I will protect him, because he knows my name.
When he calls to me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will rescue him and honor him. Psalm 91:14-15
This time His answer was, “Yes, right away.”