This past Sunday, as we do most Sundays, Janet and I had dinner with Kristin and her three boys. This week, however, we went over to their home rather than having them here. Janet and I have been out of town and it was just a little easier to have dinner there. But a funny thing happened while Kristin was preparing the meal. The lights in the living room, dining room, front hall and back deck suddenly went dim. Not all the lights, mind you, but about half of the lights in the house.
At first I thought there was a partial power failure in the neighborhood, but after giving it thought for a moment or two, it just didn’t make sense. There was a storm outside so maybe a transformer got wet and something happened. You can probably already tell that I don’t know much about these things. But then I noticed that our home was the only one that didn’t seem to have full power. So, reluctantly, I called Duke Energy and reported the weird things that we were experiencing with the power.
It wasn’t but several minutes later that the rooms with dim lights all went dark – and I mean dark. Yet the rest of the house seemed to be in great shape – in the light. The refrigerator worked, but the oven and the disposal didn’t. The bedroom lights were on but not the bathroom lights. And while the TV worked, the disposal didn’t. How strange. Never completely in the dark…
Kristin got out the candles and we ate dinner by candlelight. I can’t remember the last time that we did this. It was terrific. The warm glow of the light against the walls and the faces of the other people at the table. It was more intimate and we were more engaged with one another. After dinner, we moved into the living room. I didn’t feel right going home when there were issues with the house, so we decided to wait out the problem. And we had a delightful conversation – again by candlelight.
While we were speaking, I wondered what it would have been like in the “old” days before electricity. It would have been difficult to do homework or to even read without the aid of electricity. Yet little more than 100 years ago, the world operated by the light of candles and oil lamps. How much more difficult things must have been back then. Locally, we have a living history museum named Conner Prairie. It depicts life back in the early 1800’s when Indiana was becoming a state, and we love to go “back in time” to witness how things happened in those days. But it’s a whole different thing when you are in the dark by choice and not because of a power outage.
We received a return call from the power company and they acknowledged that it sounded like we were having a problem that needed their attention. Within thirty minutes, a truck was in the street and a repairman was troubleshooting the problem. It turned out that one of the cables carrying power into the house was damaged and had shorted out. This created the weird issues we had been experiencing. I felt sorry for the poor guys who had to work outside in the wind and the rain and the cold. But they finally got it all fixed and around 8 pm, Kristin was back to full power and we were back in the 21st century.
While I was relieved that the problem was easily fixed by professionals, I really enjoyed the conversation and dinner that we had in the dark. I am sure that I will remember it as a special time – even the boys running around with flashlights and getting in their pajamas while there was still a bit of light.
Whenever something like this happens, I think of times past and how for most of history, we lived by candlelight. Of course, in the ancient times, the scariest thing for the people of God was a cold, wet, dark environment – kind of like what we had Sunday evening. And there are many references to light and dark in the Bible. Light referred to having the light of Jesus and darkness referred to evil, or the absence of God. To those people who love God, they are in the light, even when darkness is nearby. And when there is light in your heart, darkness can never overtake you.
The verse for tonight is from Luke 11:36, “Therefore, if your whole body is full of light, and no part of it dark, it will be completely lighted, as when the light of a lamp shines on you.” How appropriate that verse is for the circumstances we were in. Because when you have the light of Jesus, you have a glow about you that transcends darkness.
My encouragement this evening is that each of us who loves God has the light of Jesus shining on us – eternally. And even when it looks like we will be subjected to darkness, we can rest assured that Jesus will always supply the light. My prayer is that when things look a little dim, or even dark, you will remember that Jesus is always in the light and when you believe in Him, you will always bask in the shadow of His light. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…