Last week a summer storm blew through town taking my electricity with it. I awoke Sunday morning to unaccustomed silence- no whir of the ceiling fan or hum of the air conditioner. It was completely dark as I stumbled through the house by the light of my cell phone. My husband Phil, flashlight in hand, was already up assessing the situation in his ever-ready-for every-situation mode. That man would have made a brilliant Eagle Scout.
As the sun rose and it became apparent that we were not going to have water or electricity to facilitate my getting ready for church routine, Phil made the journey into town to see just what damage the storm had left. He returned with a full scouting report. Power was out through about half the town including the church. However, he had driven out to my mom’s house and her neighborhood still had lights. I was relieved that that the members of my church would not have to see me in all of my bed-headed glory.
On the way to my mother’s I called my pastor to get an update on the church’s situation. He told me that they had candles burning all over the church and were operating on “Plan B”. I laughed as I wondered what that meant for me as the worship leader of the contemporary second service. After all, we used the projector for words to our songs and all of our instruments were powered by electricity. It was going to be an interesting morning.
I began to notify the members of my praise band about the situation in a mass text. “The church has no power” I typed quickly into my phone and pushed SEND. Seeing those words on the phone screen caused me to shudder. “Oh, Lord,” I thought, “Thank goodness that isn’t true. We may not have electricity, but the church with Jesus Christ as its head surely has power!”
The service that Sunday was certainly different than what most of the members were used to, but it was still a powerful service despite the lack of air conditioning or electric lights. As Tuesday rolled around and I met a new group of bright eyed seven-year-olds for the first time I thought about what power I have as a teacher. I have the power to be a positive or negative role model. I have the power to show grace and mercy or condemnation and judgement. I have the power to love or not to love.
I do not take that responsibility lightly for I am not only accountable to those children in my class, but to God. For I know what I do with the time between 8:30 and 3:30 Monday through Friday will make an eternal impression on those little hearts. The thought of it can almost be overwhelming, for how can I handle such an awesome commission on my own? Where is the source my power? The answer comes in the Word as Paul states in 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” It is in God alone that I can face the wonderful challenge that He has placed before me to love, nurture, teach and delight in the little ones in my life. He is the source of true power that can stand against the strongest storm that life may ravage. Any spiritual power outage that I may experience means that I have strayed too far from the source.
Father, keep me close to Your heart so that I can walk in Your light. Lord Jesus, thank you for the power you give me each day- that holy spirit of love and self-discipline. Holy Spirit, grant me that spirit of boldness to love more completely.