Monday, March 23, 2015

Lessons from a power outage

An alternate title for this post could be "Lessons from an oil lamp" as well.....recently the south experienced some icy and snowy weather. Many of us were impacted by it, and many lost power. No lights, no electric heat, no television (yippee!) and much more.

Of course, for us, it was a piece of cake. Living where we do, we have learned to be prepared with oil heaters and oil lamps, food that can easily be prepared, etc.  We learned this lesson years ago when we lost power with kiddos at home, and it took ten days for the power company to come all the way to the "last house on this line." (Grin)

So this time, as I readied our home for the coming storm, I began to think as I worked. There are some good lessons to be learned from an oil lamp, no?

First, the lamp requires fuel. Not just any fuel, either. We learned the hard way that you must make certain the fuel is the right type, and from a reputable company. Impurities, water, coloring .  . . all of these can make the lamp hard to light, and make the flame less bright. And of course, you need to make certain you fill it to a certain level, for optimum light.
As Christians, we need the right kind of fuel, too.

                    “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are
                     honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever
                     things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any
                     virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8

We need to fill our minds with the right kind of things, in order to "shine" for Christ.
                     I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them
                     that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. Psalm 101:3

                     For as he thinks in his heart, so he is..... Proverbs 23:7a

                    All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for
                   doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.
                   II Timothy 3:16

There's the recipe! The right kind of fuel for us is to focus on studying God's word, and then being able to listen to the Spirit -- He will apply it to our lives!

Another lesson from the oil lamp . . . I needed to trim the wicks of the lamps before we'd be ready for the  storm. If too much char builds up, the lamp will sputter and flicker and not burn steadily. The wick must be trimmed so that it is even all the way across. Then the lamp will shed a steady glow.

As Christians, sometimes we need some trimming, too. Sin builds a nest in our lives and must be cut away. We must be conformed to God's will and His plan, so that we can shine for Him.

                      Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every
                      branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. You
                      are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide
                      in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides
                      in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. John 15:2-4

The last lesson from this old oil lamp is that I needed to clean the glass chimney. As it burns and gives light, the lamp builds up soot and dirt on the inside of the glass, and soon the light it gives is not making it out where it's needed.
We Christians need to make sure we are able to give light, too.

                       You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
                       Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand,
                       and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light
                       shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give
                       glory to your Father who is in heaven.  Matthew 5:14-16

                        For at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the
                        Lord. Walk as children of light.  Ephesians 5:8

Let's ask the Lord to help us take in the fuel we need, and study it; let's ask Him to trim us so that sin doesn't make our light sputter; and let's ask Him to clean us of the sins that would keep our light from shining for Him.


Cathy said...

Beautiful post..... thank you! We have some oil lamps here, purely decorative at this point. Perhaps we should change that. I have been trying to keep Phil. 4:8 in my mind as the testing ground for what I should see and read. It's my personal censorship guide, not always successful, though.

Lisa said...

Excellent analogy! We have an Aladdin mantle lamp that is a necessity to light our dinner table during dark winter evenings. Thank you.