Monday, November 12, 2012

Power failure

"...His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence..." - 2 Peter 1:3 NASB

God: unlimited power; unlimited love. Yet He's promised that we can access all we'll ever need to live life fully, to be like Him. In fact, He tells us that He's already given it to us.

No way. Not this little black sheep!!

Trying to wrap my understanding around this concept is difficult! However, I remembered an unbelievable sight I saw once: during a thunderstorm in broad daylight, we were driving past an electrical substation. In a nearby field, about  a hundred and fifty feet from us, there was this tall evergreen tree - it would have been about four feet in diameter at the base.

Lightning strikes a tree - a photo I found at
Solar Navigator
Suddenly, a bolt of lightning struck the tree. In a moment of time, it was transformed into a brilliant four-foot column of white light that arced all the way into the sky! Almost exactly at the same time, we heard a giant "CRRRRAACK!!!" and I watched in amazement as the huge tree literally exploded into splinters, all of which caught fire and burned into ash before they even reached the ground. What remained was a jagged stump left in the earth, only barely singed where the electricity had surged through it. Remarkable.

I was only vaguely aware of a metallic smell in the air.

This all happened in the short time it took to drive past the substation: about 5 seconds. I was breathless with awe, humbled at the raw power of it. And so grateful that it was over there, not right here.

The power contained in that one bolt of lightning, earth to sky, according to scientists, would have been about a trillion volts - that's a million million volts! It's infinitely greater than the current that courses through the electrical cable that runs from the power pole outside our house to the house itself, and even THAT is enough to kill someone many times over. Even in that form, though more controlled, it is still unusable, inaccessible by the average person.

All that power available to us - yet we are unable to get at it, to use it. 

Kind of like 2 Peter 1:3 is at first blush. "His divine power" is pretty big. How can I tap into that kind of force in a meaningful way? in a way that gives me the power to live life to the full?

About four years ago, we had some electricians come in and update our wiring. They took out the old fuse box and replaced it with a circuit-breaker box. They increased the number of lines that ran into the box and left some spares in case we wanted to add other lines. They re-routed some of the extra electricity that was making our fuses overload, and put those lines on a separate circuit of their own. They re-labelled the lines. 

I don't think much about electricity. I just use it, for all practical purposes not even thinking about all the nasty things it COULD do to me or of the possibilities that could ensue when I flip a switch. Even though I know it could burn down not only the house but the whole neighborhood, I act as though I'm unaware of the potential, and avail myself of that power as if it's just part of my everyday life. It's dark; I turn on a light. I'm hungry; I go to the fridge or I use the stove to cook something. I don't have to plead and beg the power lines to bring that current into the house; it's already there. I just need to live my life. The power just comes. 

It's just there. Period. The thing of it is that with God, He's already provided the power, paid the bill, and run the lines. The hookup is there and the power engaged the moment I entered, of my own free will, into a relationship with Him. The only way I wouldn't be able to access that power would be if there was some sort of interruptor blocking the current from getting through, something bleeding off the power and diverting it into somewhere it's not supposed to be. 

Perhaps it's a live wire that's hidden behind the wall in my past somewhere - one that isn't hooked up to anything but is just sitting there funneling power away from where it will do the most good. If I brush up against that (or if someone else touches it!), or if other (flammable) debris gets in there as well, it could be very dangerous not only for me, but for those I love. Even a small spark can burn unseen behind those walls and engulf the entire house before I even know it's there.

Perhaps I'm just trying to do too much on my own - and overloading one area of my life (or a lot of areas of my life) too much. It happens. Perhaps the lines have gotten crudded and dirty, frayed over time with much use - or disuse. Maybe I need new wires; or, maybe they've gotten crossed and hooked up the wrong way. I might need professional help if that's the case. 

Good thing I have a Live-In Inspector who'll come alongside me and show me what needs updating ... or rewiring. 

I think I'll have a chat with Him.

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