To our surprise and puzzlement my wife and I discovered that suddenly, for no apparent reason, our iPad (tablet) immediately and repeatedly flicked from the email I wanted to read to a message from our ‘phone company (telco) directing me to either “Recharge or Activate”.
It politely stated: “You’re here because either you have run out of credit, or your new pre-paid service has not yet been activated” ??? Then different options appeared.
But why all of a sudden did I need to recharge or activate anything?
A little testing followed
Was this conundrum caused by my wife’s (then) 67 year-old rusty recollection of recent events or by my (then) 68 year-old ‘more-rustier’ recollection?
What on earth was going on? Was God’s church about to be raptured? Was life as we know it about to end? Had aliens invaded our planet?
Not having been able to resolve this catastrophic turn-of-events, I reluctantly accepted Jan’s sound advice and agreed to drive to the nearest shop-front of the telco. As we left our upstairs apartment I pressed the garage door remote but when we got there the door was still closed. Press! Press! No response. It had gone deaf.
The puzzlement intensified
Then lightening struck my bride and she thundered: no electricity! Our neighbourhood was in blackout. So that’s why the landline wouldn’t work! We resigned ourselves to walk to the telco in the shopping mall where a competent young lady asked a few searching questions.
She soon had the mystery solved. As we only operate the iPad (and laptop) via a modem, not using cellular wifi except when on holidays, once the neighbourhood electricity was restored both the modem and devices would again spring to life. And as if by some strange magic they did.
This chastening experience highlights modern mans’ virtual total dependence upon and thus our vulnerability to the vagaries of electric power.
To His church then (and to us today) Jesus says that we: will receive power “when” the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be My witnesses…to the ends of the earth. (Acts chapter 1 verse 8).
Not being a Prime Minister, President, Pope, monarch, senior politician, leading captain of industry, or other socially important person, what power do we possess? Why does the risen LORD Jesus say we “will” receive power: God power? To do what?
Knowledge is power
The catchy jingle of a big-city coaching college is that ‘knowledge is power’. Having it ‘under our belt’ empowers us.
What do parents most often want for their children? For them to go to school (and beyond) and ‘get’ an education. Parents know that pathways are revealed and doors are opened for the child who possesses one.
We know that: knowledge of the Holy One “is” understanding. (Proverbs chapter 9 verse 10). It strengthens and calms us not to have to speculate or wonder about life, but to understand albeit not fully. It doesn’t matter if we are not powerful in the worldly sense, and of course our divine empowerment is not something to boast about.
Jesus says of Himself: I “am” the way and the truth and the life. (John chapter 14 verse 6), and we know Him as the One Who knows and brings about the future, including our own.
We know by Whom we are empowered. Our knowledge of Him, of His truth, His all-powerful forever-presence in our lives and the certainty of where we are headed, is both comforting and confidence-building. Not for boasting about or smugness but rather for immense gratitude.
He knows their day is coming
Will we be cowered by criticism, even sneering criticism or scoffing by those who neither truly know who they are or where they are currently headed? Such an experience may be uncomfortable (even very uncomfortable), awkward and embarrassing but not crippling.
God says: Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong…do not fret when men succeed in their ways…The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the LORD laughs at the wicked for He knows their day is coming. (Psalm 37 verses 1, 7, 12 & 13).
At such times it may be emotionally difficult to be patient and content with our life.
The unbeliever may say: How does God know? Is there knowledge in the Most High?…these are the ungodly who are always at ease: they increase in riches…When I thought how to understand this it was too painful for me “until” I went into the sanctuary of God: “then” I understood their end. (Psalm chapter 73 verses 12, 16 & 17 - NKJV).
The Author of life says that: Man’s life does not consist in the abundance of His possessions: that there is great Godliness in contentment…and that’s good.
Gavin Lawrie is a retired Barrister and Solicitor from Tweed Heads NSW Australia and author of the book: 'THE EVIDENCE OF EVOLUTION: Uncovering The Faulty Science Of Dawkins' Attack On Creationism'. He is married to Jan with two adult children and they are grandparents.
Gavin Lawrie's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/gavin-lawrie.html