Thursday, April 22, 2010

On Fire (Literally) For God

The thermometer tipped past 100 today. Each day is hotter than the day before. And on days like this (which has been EVERY day), my brain is hijacked by the heat and can usually only produce one repetitive and unproductive thought: "I'm hot." Literally every other thought in my head is about the heat. A normal thought process would go something like this: "Time for lunch. It's so hot here. What is there to eat? I don't know, but I'm burning up right now. Maybe we should go out for lunch. Although it's far too HOT to walk anywhere. Cook pasta? Nah I'm too hot to eat pasta" - etc, etc... it is inescapable, both physically and mentally. So imagine my dismay tonight when the power went out. I've dealt with power outages for days before, and the lack of light or television have never been much of an issue. But our recent power outages, which have been at most inconvenient times, have been causing Amanda and I much more distress than ever before. No electricity here means no light in a place where we don't have candles or flashlights lying around. No more internet exists. It means no ability to cook meals, and the most epic implication of all is that our air goes out. Our little air conditioner is like a tank of oxygen that our very survival depends upon. Perhaps I'm getting dramatic... but the power also controls our ceiling fan. Without those two little guys working together, our room quickly becomes a steamy oven of frustration and impending death. Whoa, dramatic.

Tonight we came into our apartment after a long day and laid down to rest. We woke up shortly, however, to a blazing hot room and no electricity. Big surprise. But tonight, God had plans I was too human to realize. I think He may have had a hand in our 2-hour-long power outage that left me laying in bed covered in sweat and trying not to move. As I wandered in and out of sleep, I began feeling delirious and wondering how anyone lives in weather like this. At the peak of my frustration and yelling for the electricity to come back on, I resigned myself to the fact that we probably wouldn't get electricity back tonight and to just chill out. That mindset shift caused me to lay down, turn on some worship music, and decide to pray to and worship God even in the sweltering heat and moment of anger that I was experiencing. That simple decision -to be content in my relationship with God no matter the circumstances - resulted in one of the best quiet times and communion with God that I had had in a really long time. Had the electricity been on all night, I probably would have been distracted by Facebook, microwaving tea, Skyping family or just peacefully sleeping the evening away as I had originally intended. The cool thing, though, is that this little power outage - and my overreaction that accompanied it - actually brought me a lot closer to God. He used those crappy few hours to let me commune with Him instead, and worship my God who is more important than a skipped meal, more valuable than a ceiling fan and far more powerful than the heat.