On the Sunday before Christmas, we were hit by a major ice storm that knocked out the electricity for most of the homes in our area. The early predictions were that power could be out for up to a week. Since it was well below freezing outside, I was concerned about many issues: my family staying warm, our pipes freezing, the food in our refrigerator and freezers going bad, elderly neighbors being safe, members from church being hungry, cold and sick, the church building having issues with only half power, what to do about the many worship services planned for the week, etc. As I slept in a cold house that Sunday night, I prayed for wisdom and clarity from the Lord on how to align my priorities for action. The “Thumbs Up” illustration helped me once again.
I set out to get my family to warmth and safety first. After draining all the pipes in our house, I sent my family and most of our cold food to Heather’s parents’ home an hour away since they did have electricity. Once I had them to safety and the home “closed up” for the long haul, I was free to attend to the church family. I checked on the sick and needy and helped arrange for generators or alternate lodging where needed. I made decisions about usage of the church building including worship services and other activities. I also went to check on my neighbors and make sure they were all safe and receiving what they needed to get through.
This whole situation was new. I’d never experienced such a large scale power outage in below freezing temperatures. Although my first reaction was fear and confusion, it helped to put things in the order of Jesus, wife, family, church family and others around me. As I turned to the Lord for guidance FIRST, He gave me wisdom and peace of what to do next. Instead of “freezing up” with fear, the love and wisdom of the Lord set me free to love those around me. Especially in times of crisis, it ‘s useful to understand life in God’s way.