In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it. John 1:4-5
When the voltage drops, it is called a brownout, but when the power goes off it's a blackout. While brownouts can do more damage to equipment than blackouts, it the latter which we really fear--sitting at home in the dark. In business or industry, however, it means your productivity has gone to zero. When the power goes off, you light a candle and get hot under the collar, both of which never really seem to eliminate the situation.
When I visited the Chernobyl complex following the melt-down of reactor #4 in 1989, I asked the director of the plant exactly what would happen if the entire operation would be shut down (something which has since happened). With a wry smile, he replied, "The people in Kiev would be home watching their TVs in the dark!" Right.
Blackouts are about as popular as announcing that a new strain of bacteria has infected the public water supply, or that McDonalds or Jollibee in Asia is going out of business, or that the stock market will be shut down until further notice. We find our comfort zones, and anything that threatens them creates a lot of unrest and causes our blood pressure to soar.
When blackouts occur, the press quickly looks for a scapegoat. Obviously, someone is to blame. Forget that no new power plant has gone on line in the past twenty years, the result of opposition by powerful lobbies. Someone has to take the rap, so find out who will get the heat.
OK, brownouts and blackouts seem to be here for a long time to come. Getting disturbed over the situation won't change it, so do we learn to live with it? Perhaps.
Going beyond having enough electrical energy to keep my electric blanket toasty or my air-conditioner humming, there's the issue of spiritual blackouts--sometimes self-imposed. "And what's that all about?" you may ask.
A lot of people I know live as though someone had thrown the switch, and the spiritual power got turned off. There's a text in one of the minor prophets where Zechariah records the words of an angry God, who says, "I will bring distress on the people and they will walk like blind men, because they have sinned against the LORD…," (Zephaniah 1:17).
There are times when people go beyond the limits of God's mercy and compassion. It happened in Noah's day when God finally sent judgment, and it will happen again, if you take God's Word at face value.
But what about our personal lives? Can we go beyond the circumferences of grace? Is there really an unpardonable sin which means you are doomed--blackout forever?
Some think so. They are absolutely convinced that the heavens are brass and that God has forever closed the door. If you fear that, don't worry. It doesn't apply to you. Only those who have no spiritual sensitivity are in that condition. They are in the dark and don’t care. But if your conscience pricks you and you feel that you're in the dark and you don't like it, there's good news.
God's power can turn on the lights in your life. Jesus said candidly (according to John): “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life" (John 8:12). Writing the preface to the book we know as the Gospel of John, the writer said, "In him was life, and that life was the light of men" (John 1:4).
Never ever be content to live with either spiritual brownout or blackout. Jesus' intention is for you to let Him light up your life with His presence, and when that happens you'll never again walk in darkness.
Resource reading: John 8:1-18.