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Out of Juice

Out of Juice

Two days ago I had a small cultural experience.

We are staying temporarily in a small office building. They removed the office furniture and put beds in them. Wala! Bedrooms. There is a bathroom and small kitchen.

Our electricity went out. This happens at least three times per day, so we did not think about it. Typically it is out for less than thirty minutes. The power grid does rolling brown-outs and rolling black-outs. The city decreases the amount of electricity available to different areas. That is called a brown-out. Black-outs are self-explanatory.

So, we lose power often. We tried to figure out some schedule, but the logic of timing eludes us.

Back to the story. Power goes out. No big deal. It does not come back on. The conference center uses a huge diesel generator if the power stays out too long. It is across the parking lot, but so loud it can be heard for half a mile. We always hear it kick in and moments later have power. It did not turn on.

I heard a knock at our door after an hour.

“You are out of power.” Nimpass, the maintenance man, told me.

“I know. How long before it comes back on do you think?”

“No, Daddy.” (Many people call me Daddy and Denise Mommy as terms of respect. I like it. People we lead to Jesus call us that the rest of their lives) “You are out of power. It is Saturday, so I do not think anyone will answer the phone. You used your power.”

It confused me a little. I could tell I did not understand the message he attempted to communicate. “Show me what you mean.” I said.

He took me to the meter and explained. The photo above is the real deal. It is our meter. Here is it in a nutshell.

In the States, we use electricity all month long. At the end of the month, they read our meter and tell us how much money we owe. We pay after the fact.

In Ghana, you pay in advance. You tell the electric company you will use $100 worth of power this month. They credit your meter with $100. If you reach your prepaid amount, the power turns off. You must go to the electric company and buy more credit.

We used it all up with four days left in the month. Out of money but not days.

“The office might be closed.” Nimpass said. “I can try.”

I gave him $100. We do not know yet how much we use. Electricity is about twice as much as it is in the States. I think our two offices will end up using about $300 a month because we have window unit air conditioners.

The office was open and the electricity came back on in about 45 minutes.

I thought of this. It is a great illustration of why we need to stay connected to Christ and filled with the Holy Spirit. In Ephesians, God tells us to “Be filled with the Spirit”. Literally it says in the Greek, “Keep on being filled with the Spirit”.

God knows circumstances, people, problems, life, sinful world, influences, etc., tend to drain us. We connect with Him and get a charge. Our spiritual batteries are full. Then, life drains us.

We lose juice.

We lose power.

This is why we must ‘walk’ in the Holy Spirit. God tells us to ‘abide’ in Him, in Christ and in the Holy Spirit. It is a moment by moment, non-stop power supply.

So, if you feel spiritually drained, it is probably because you simply ran out of juice. The connection broke. It is time to resupply.

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