Powerless

August 17, 2003

1 Peter 5:11 – To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen. (NIV)

Late in the afternoon, the lights flickered, and then the electric power shut down — all over the states of New York, Ohio, Michigan and across much of Ontario. People were stranded in underground subways, and trapped in elevators for hours. It was rush hour, and traffic that is bad at the best of times was chaotic. Pedestrians assisted the police at intersections where all the traffic lights were out.

Our drinking water slowed to a trickle because it could not be pumped, and there was a shortage of water to fight fires. There was no power to pump gasoline for automobiles, no money from automatic teller machines, and no communication for the average person. My computer was down, along with everyone else's, and our air conditioner would not work in the sweltering heat.

It was the largest blackout in North American history.

What a helpless feeling! I never realized how dependent we are on electrical power. Prepared for a blackout? Most people weren't really. But in this house we had candles, flashlights that worked, two battery-operated radios and a natural gas barbecue. Emergency backup power was maintained for hospitals, and the radio stations remained on, using auxiliary power. Many of these provisions were surely a result of preparations for Y2K, and the fallout from 9/11.

As night approached, all was still for those who finally reached home. The night grew darker than usual, the stars were more visible, and one could observe the meteor showers that would never have been seen. Such a sight is sure to remind us of the power of God. Unlike the electricity, His power is never cut off from us unless we choose it by straying from Him.

John 15:5 – [Jesus said,] "I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." (NIV)

As dependent as we are on electricity, we are even more totally dependent on Him. We could not even exist without His sustaining power. Without Him we can do nothing.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help us to realize how much we need You. Without You we are powerless. Awaken us to understand there is nothing eternal for us in this world if we are cut off from the power of Your Holy Spirit. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Anne Russell <annerussell80@gmail.com>
Brampton, Ontario, Canada

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