The Day The Lights Went Out
It has been our tradition to take a short vacation after Christmas, since we have so much going on with the church and family, before and during the holidays. This year we went to stay with relatives in Ft Collins, Colo. for a few days. It was a great trip, but the drive was 12 hours each way. We got back Thursday night, and I knew I would need all day Friday to prepare my Sunday sermon.
I made it to the office a little early, took care of a few items for the church and began settling into my study routine. The last thing that needed to be done was to take the rent check to the office for the apartment the church uses as my office. On the way back, I was headed upstairs when a young man who does maintenance called out to me and asked if I was the one associated with the church. I introduced myself as the pastor and we began to talk.
He said he wasn’t sure why but something within him told him to stop me. He gave a brief description of how things were not going well in his life. He said he had never been very religious. I suggested to him that God was moving in his heart to cause him to stop me to talk. I said I would be delighted to counsel with him and offered to take him out to lunch or meet in my office. He took my card and said he was going to stop by my office when he had some free time on property.
I returned to my office upstairs to pray for the young man and got the sense that I could have said more. I wished I had said more. About 15 minutes later while sitting at my desk reading commentaries, the power suddenly went out.
I knew the electric bill was paid, so I went out the front door to see if any other lights were on in the complex. As I opened the front door, the alarm system chirped “Front Door Open”. “Interesting,” I thought as I started checking other light switches. It seemed that power was on everywhere except my office. I went downstairs to the church and got some extension cords to run into my office and got everything back up shortly.
When the office opened at 12, I called to put in a work order. Usually these things can take weeks or months to resolve, but 15 minutes later a knock came at the door. It was the young man coming to fix the lights. The circuit breaker was on for my office, but one part of the circuit was not working. We decided it had to be an outlet that was bad. He went to take out an air freshener when the lights briefly came back on. “What good luck,” we both said. He left to get a new outlet and was back about 10 minutes later.
As I was waiting in the dark, I joked with the Lord “Are you sending angels to mess with the wiring in my office?” The young man returned and he said he had been talking to his wife, whom he described as being “not religious.” He told her about our meeting this morning and how he had then been called to my office on a work order. He asked her if she thought it was an accident, to which she replied, “It doesn’t sound like an accident to me.”
I confirmed to him my belief that God was pursuing him this day. A former Jehovah’s Witness, he had decided very young that he wanted nothing to do with them. We began sorting through what he believed about God. After a time, he was done with the repair, and the lights came back on.
I asked him to sit down, and he did. We talked for a while, and I shared the Gospel with him. Finally, I told him that he could pray today and ask God to forgive his sins and he said boldly, “I want to do that.” Afterwards, we talked about baptism and some of the first steps he can take as a new believer. He left having fixed my lights, but walking a little taller as a new man.
For me, any price is worth paying to have front row seats when God is moving in someone’s heart, leading them to Salvation. Thank you Lord that you pursued us all, even if it means turning out the lights for a little while, so we can discover the true light of the world.