Last weekend started out better than most. One of our daughters was visiting and we had an afternoon planned for shopping and lunch, then the unexpected, frustrating, and bad happened. As we were getting ready, the lights start flickering then…nothing. Half of our house was without electricity, the half that controls our furnace. We quickly go through checking the normal routine, breakers, outlets, etc. Our house is fairly old, and we have suspected that there were electrical issues starting; however, we never had an urgent need to have it inspected until now, no heat in winter tends to make things urgent. Normally in these circumstances, I would have gone into obsessive planning mode, Google all possible causes, expected prices, and best-rated electricians. There is one other slight concern, there is no money in the budget for an electric emergency. This time, however, instead of my normal habit of trying to control everything, my husband and I take the problem straight to God. We pray that He will make a way, that our electric will be fixed, that there is money to pay for it, and that He will receive glory through it all.
Sometimes God Allows the Bad to Happen
It so happens that our neighbor is in the process of remodeling his house. My husband had the idea to go over and speak with the contractor to see if he knew an electrician. Not only did he know someone, but the electrician was there and was happy to come check it out for us when he was done. This man, who turned out to be a brother in Christ, spent hours inspecting and fixing minor issues along the way. He, unfortunately, couldn’t find the problem that night but agreed to come back Monday evening to figure it out. Fast-forward to Monday and he spends another two hours going through every inch of our house, then in our cramped attic, hidden behind storage containers, he finds the source of the problem…an electrical wire had started burning and thankfully separated enough that the connection stopped, cutting the electricity in that half of the house. What all that means is that our electric going off saved our house from burning down. Sometimes God allows the bad to happen to keep us from the worst. Also, as we would come to find out, God will sometimes use the events in our lives to bless someone else (check back next week for more on that).
A Story of Half-Seeing
The events of last weekend reminded me of the Story of the Two Traveling Angels. Two Angels disguised as poor travelers first show up at the house of a rich man, he refuses to allow the two into his main house or provide for their needs but allows them to sleep in his barn. During the night the elder Angel closes up a hole that they noticed on the wall. The next day the two Angels arrive at the house of a poor farmer and his wife who graciously invite them in. They share their simple and sparse food supplies and invite them to sleep in their home near the fire. The next morning when they awake, the poor farmer finds their only cow dead. As the two Angles are on the road to the next destination, the younger Angel asks, “Sir, why is it that you repair the hole in the wall of that selfish man, but last night you allow the only cow of the gracious farmer to die?” To which the elder Angel replies, “The rich man stored all his wealth in that hole in the wall, I closed it up so that he would no longer have it. And last night at the poor farmer’s home, the Angel of death appeared to take the farmer’s wife. Instead, I offered him the cow.” Just as the younger Angel was only able to half-see the workings of the elder Angel, we are only able to half-see the workings of God. Something that we would normally see as bad, may, in reality, be God protecting us from something far worse.
That kind electrician not only fixed our electric but also charged us less than a quarter of what we were expecting to pay. Because we chose to place our “bad” in the hands of God instead of leaning on our own understanding, He was able to answer our prayers completely. He made a way for the electricity to be fixed, allowed for it to be fixed for an amount that fit our budget, and He was most definitely glorified by the event. We put our trust in God and He supplied in a way that could have only been by His doing. It is expected that “bad” things will happen in this life, but we will be able to have faith because we have seen God answer our prayers before. As Psalm 112:7 declares, “He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord.”