“Power failure! (Musical chime, musical chime)…” A shot of adrenaline rushed through my body, my eyes open widely and I could see the time projected (battery backup) on the ceiling: 2:27 AM. Instantly I uttered a prayer asking my Heavenly Father (a.k.a. Almighty God) to restore the electrical power so that my wife could get the rest that she needed. Almost before I had finished thinking this petition, I heard another, different musical chime – this time a welcome one. The power was restored! Thank the Lord for his quick answer to prayer!
“Power failure! (Musical chime, musical chime)…” No adrenaline this time, I was waking up – dawn was breaking. I could not see the time but I guessed the time was about 7:10 – 7:15 AM. I made the same instantaneous petition as before, except that I knew my wife was already up, working in the kitchen. This time the power remained out for about one hour and 15 minutes.
What is the big deal about power outages? Many people in the northeastern section of the United States are experiencing the loss of electrical power – even as I write.
Like most Americans, I am accustomed to the benefits of unlimited electricity. In addition to lights, refrigeration, appliances and other conveniences such as phone and iPad chargers, computers, printers, Internet access and television, I heavily depend on electricity for crucial devices and machines which make it possible for me to live an “almost normal” life. For instance, my bed has an electric powered air mattress which runs constantly inflating and deflating in pressure. It begins losing air after about 15 minutes of power outage. My CPAP and hospital bed are powered by electricity, although it does have a battery backup. Electricity charges my wheelchair and the battery to my Hoyer lift. All this to say that I am extremely dependent upon electricity.
We have been warned that a pressure sore can develop in 15 to 20 minutes, when laying on a hard surface such as a bed frame. Further, a friend developed a pressure sore on his backside, which took almost one year to heal, as a result of a deflated air mattress. So, aside from the inconvenience, a power failure is an important issue for us.
Judy had been up and she was now in high gear! She began with the essentials of getting me out of the bed. She quickly accomplished in about 15 minutes what our regular helper does in an hour and a half. By this time, our assistant had arrived; she helped with dressing me, placing me in the wheelchair and personal grooming. By now, the air mattress was completely deflated; Judy was getting tired and my helper breathing deeply. Finally after about one hour and 10 to 15 minutes, the power was restored.
I thank the Lord for giving me such a caring and resourceful wife. She is continually committed to my well-being – often sacrificing for my good health and comfort. I love her and need her. God has given me far better than I deserve. I’m also grateful for a dependable caregiver – another answer to prayer.
I also thank God for hearing and answering all my prayers, according to his great wisdom and power. For instance, today’s first prayer was answered almost instantaneously and the second rather quickly, although at the time it seemed much longer.
I suppose I could stop here (the power just went off again – thank God for backup batteries? Just in case you wondered: Electrical power restored in about 10 minutes.), but when I think about these circumstances, questions pop into my mind. Why? Why does God answer prayers in one instance, and not in another? Why does he sometimes delay? At other times, why does he refuse or decline?
The short answer: I don’t know. My Heavenly Father knows what I need far better than I do.
The expanded answer:
• I don’t know. This hardly needs explanation. If I knew the reason, I wouldn’t have to ask the question. But this does bring me face-to-face with the realization that I do not have all the answers. I am limited – finite, but I do have bold access into the throne room of God, where, because of his mercy in Christ, I am welcomed as his child.
• My Heavenly Father knows what I need better than I do. I have just confessed my own limitations above. So it doesn’t seem like it will be too hard to acknowledge that again (although sometimes it is). Moreover, God’s Word tells me that “… the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1 Corinthians 1:25, ESV) God is both wiser and stronger than I am. Further, God is able to do all that he wishes. (Psalm 135:6) and Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28, ESV)
• Conclusion: Although I am limited in knowledge and wisdom and don’t have all the answers, my loving heavenly father does. He is wise, strong and powerful. Even and especially when it doesn’t seem like it, he works all things for good. I am very grateful for the access that we have to God’s throne of grace. We have the privilege of making our petitions to our Father in heaven. He not only delights to hear our prayers, but takes pleasure in answering them.