Living in Texas you can expect extreme weather. Winter is usually mild compared to the northern states, fall is pleasant with a few cold snaps, the summer heat can be brutal, and spring comes the rain, storms, and tornadoes … we had a humdinger of a storm recently.
The thunderstorm came in from the north with hurricane-force winds, lightning, thunder, and torrential rains. Suddenly, with a single clap of thunder, the power went out in our house and across the entire East Texas region. We are now on our seventh day without power. In that split second, life changed for a lot of East Texans.
If you were fortunate enough to have a generator for backup power, you were giving thanks to God for cool air, and hot water, and saving your food source. In a split second, there were literally thousands forced to live in brutal heat or seek shelter with friends and family.
Immediately, crews from all over the country arrived and started working to restore power with more than 48,000 without service. But me? I started looking at my watch to try and figure out when power would be restored. I’ve been doing that for seven days. It dawned on me, maybe I needed to learn something here. Then I remembered a trip I took in 2011.
Our church choir and orchestra traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina for a concert tour. Not a world traveler, I jumped at the chance to see another culture. The country and city were beautiful and historic, with the disparity of great wealth and the most extreme poverty I’ve ever witnessed. The biggest takeaway from the trip is the way other cultures treat time.
We Americans are constantly looking at our watches and phones, to be on time, stay on time, as if we are going to make time. We would set rehearsal schedules, and the host churches would arrive “in their own time.” I soon realized my time is not everyone else’s.
The same applies to this most recent power outage. I’m learning to deal with my lack of patience. Instead of concentrating on myself, what I can do is make good use of what God has given my husband and I and help others without, allowing people to stay with us since we do have backup power, to donate food and water, or serve the crews who are working round the clock.
We all spend a lot of time in our lives waiting because change is a process. Many people want change, but they don’t want to go through the waiting process. But the truth is, waiting is a given—we are going to wait. The question is, are we going to wait for the wrong or right way? If we wait for the wrong way, we’ll be miserable; but if we decide to wait God’s way, we can become patient and enjoy the wait. It takes practice, and there will be plenty of opportunities in life to practice, for sure!
“But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing” (James 1:4).
Lord, I want to be ready in that split second!
Debby Efurd is co-founder of Cary John Efurd Ministries. Learn more about the ministry by liking our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/CJEMinistries) and downloading our FREE mobile app (get.theapp.co) from App Store or Google Play. Once downloaded, allow notifications to keep you up to date on what’s happening in Cary John Efurd Ministries. Debby can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. Feel free to comment at debbyefurd.com