In October 2021, I was curious about whether we might have an incident with gas shortages and possibly even electrical power outages as a result of a possible extreme winter weather issue, such as several states had experienced in February that year.
And then an urgency came to me in my mind: “Get Ready”. Sometimes that’s how the Holy Spirit speaks. Through a thought.
I had not rededicated my life to Christ at this point, but I was a believer and I was still somewhat wandering around in the wilderness after my 2018 double-brush with self-murder (suicide).
Anyway, when it was impressed upon me to “Get Ready”, I asked, for what? I wasn’t really sure, but I figured it was a natural gas shortage. Our house is heated by a forced air furnace powered by gas, which oddly also relies on electricity, so if electricity goes out, you automatically lose the gas.
However, I felt the urgency as an insistence and I heeded the calling in the best way I knew, which was to purchase an electric radiant heater – the type I grew up with back in New Zealand. I had considered propane or kerosene, but neither are truly safe indoors because of the fumes, or the risk of gas build-up. As I ordered the radiant heater, I also ordered three hot water bottles. I figured if there was no heat, we could have a fire outside and heat water to at least heat the bottles and snuggle up under rugs. I grew up with hot water bottles as a child, so was familiar with the comfort they brought a bed on a cold night.
I ordered the heater on the Tuesday,12th October. The furnace went out on the Wednesday or Thursday (a day or two after). It would start to cycle on and then shut off, so out of safety, we shut the whole thing down. We had no heating option for the house at this point and we’d hit a cold snap. I’d just had the furnace checked at the beginning of the month and while working fine, there were a couple of things that would eventually need attention.
The estimated update for delivery of the heater was Saturday, which meant we only had to be cold for a couple of days (the hot water bottles had arrived), but that same day there appeared to be a delay, so I decided to go and look around again to see if I could find something similar locally. I did. When I came home with the newly purchased heater from Tractor Supply, the original heater I had ordered online that was originally destined to arrive Wednesday 20th October, then Saturday 16th October, and then delayed (you still following this timeline?) had actually been delivered. I opened it up to look at it and decided not to keep the one that had just shown up, but rather keep the one I had just brought home. It was closer to what I wanted anyway.
We got the HVAC guy out on Monday the 18th to look at the furnace and oddly enough it started just fine and through the negative freezing temperatures of late December and the beginning of January it’s been working perfectly. I’ve put the heater in storage, but knowing we have it, it’s good to be ready.
One thing I did right: I trusted that I must get ready.
One thing I did wrong: I became impatient.
But despite all of that, isn’t it interesting that we have never had an issue with our furnace (in fact I had just had it checked the previous month to make sure it was sound) and yet I ordered a heater and hot water bottles and then the furnace stopped working, but it started right up when it was checked. The person who checked it the second time said there was nothing that he had highlighted that would have caused this issue.
When God says get ready, I urge you to listen. For me, Get Ready is multi-faceted and I am aware of this, but it’s not the sort of recommendation in terms of Jesus’ return – no, it’s something else, more related to my calling. That I am aware of. What I didn’t fully grasp at this time (or perhaps I did), but the Holy Spirit was talking to me and this was a test. And while I became impatient, by and large, I passed the test.