Blown Lightbulbs & Signs of Pure Love…

November 26, 2013
Burned out lightbulbs

Burned out lightbulbs

I’ve been reading a book  titled ‘Discernment: Reading the Signs of Daily Life’ by Henri Nouwen.  This book has been helpful for me regarding learning to look deeper at the seemingly inconsequential or mundane occurrences of daily life.  Nouwen’s emphasis in the book is that the Lord is always speaking through the things we might be tempted to overlook.  Taking time to notice His promptings and communication in the little things throughout our day truly redeems how we view the simplest details of daily life.  This renewed awareness allowed me to receive a life saving encouragement from the Lord through three blown light bulbs.  Let me explain…

I recently had the privilege of spending a couple of weeks at a cottage in the wilderness that a dear couple provided for me.  My time there was truly a gift.  After being out and about one afternoon, I returned to the cabin as the sun was setting.  When I walked in, I flipped the light switch to turn the kitchen light on.  Just then, I heard a ‘pop’ and saw a small flash.  As you might have guessed, one of the bulbs in the kitchen light fixture burned out.  No big deal, right?  That’s what I thought too.  After all, light bulbs burn out from time to time.  

The following day, I returned to the cabin around the same time.  Since it was getting dark, I naturally flipped the light switch on to illuminate the room.  Just then, I heard a pop and saw a small flash.  That got my attention.  A second bulb had just burned out.  Bulbs don’t burn out everyday, but this was the second time in two days.  Interesting.  Still, I figured it was a simple coincidence.  

On the third day, I returned to the cabin around the same time.  Since it was dark in the house, I flipped the light switch.  Again, I heard a pop and saw a small flash.  Yes, a third bulb had just burned out!  The kitchen light was now becoming dim because three bulbs had already burned out.  This was not normal.  After sharing this with a friend, she reminded me that the Lord might be trying to speak through the blown light bulbs incident.  Instantly, I was reminded of the book that I had been reading.  I was clueless to the hidden lightbulb message, however, so I decided to ask the Lord about it.  Almost immediately, I sensed Him speaking to my heart.  These certain facts became apparent to me: 

Electricity is very real and powerful, but mostly unseen.  

Electricity begins to flow unimpeded when a switch is flipped and that which has been blocking its flow is opened up.

The light bulb is a physical apparatus that was created to house the unseen power of electricity through contact with an element inside the lightbulb.  

If the element inside the lightbulb is old, it will break when it comes into contact with the authentic power of electricity.  

After becoming aware of these facts, I clearly sensed the Lord connecting the dots for me. What unfolded in the next few seconds in my spirit is turning out to be one of the greatest relational lessons in life that I have yet learned.       

The unseen power of electricity represents the life of Christ that dwells inside of us.  

The substance of His life is pure love.  

He has been removing that which has been blocking the flow of this indwelling love by flipping my ‘switch’, so to speak, so my deposit of love can dwell inside of a ‘lightbulb’.  

The lightbulb represents specific relationships that I have / had.

A New Testament community (church) is made up of a collection of intimate relationships.                

On the surface, lightbulbs (relationships) look normal  until power (love) is transmitted to them.  

Love exposes and breaks that which is old.  It can only illuminate that which is new.  If the bulb is old (relationships built on an old covenant paradigm), it will pop (burnout) when it comes into contact with the unseen power of pure love (Christ).

I couldn’t believe the implications of what I was being shown.  The condemnation I previously felt regarding old and present relational breakdowns began to be soothed over immediately.  Old lightbulbs cannot be repaired, they must be replaced.  It is His love in me that is exposing the old.   

In the same way, the Lord will not fix relationships built on old paradigms.  Like old lightbulbs, love (electricity) will simply expose and break those internal paradigms.  Darkness will be the result until the old paradigms can be replaced by the new.  Divine love is the new paradigm for relationships built in and through Christ.  

Relationships built on the new are NOT like relationships built on the old.  True restoration in relationships only occur when the new replaces the old.  Until then, He will sustain us in our dark rooms until illumination is able to happen.

After I realized this during my stay in the cabin, no more lightbulbs burned out during my time there.  About one week after returning home, however, the light in my bedroom burned out.  When it happened, the room was totally dark.  I had no idea where the spare bulbs were, so I restfully endured a dark room for a day until my wife returned from being out of town.  

When she returned, she promptly and quite easily went to the place where the spare bulbs were.  She replaced the bulb that had burned out, and she also proceeded to replace the three other bulbs in the light fixture that I cannot ever remember working before. Not only was the old bulb replaced, three new bulbs were added as well.  In the end, there was more light in our room than we had before the original bulb burned out!  Like Christ, she did what I couldn’t do, and the light was greater in the end than it was in the beginning.  

A Lesson For Lovers

Lovers are those who are consumed by love.  If you’re not sure if you are a lover, this post is probably not for you.  You can simply file it away for later.  If you deeply resonate with the term lover, however, let this be an encouragement to you.  Love causes darkness before it causes light.  It is your love that is breaking old bulbs.  Keep the switch on and the love flowing, even when the old bulbs burn out.  I promise someone is in the process of changing the bulb.  In the end, not only will you have received back those relationships that were lost, many more will be added to you.

“Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. God saw that the light was good; and God seperated the light from the darkness. God called the light day, and the darkness He called night…” (Genesis 1:3-5, NASB)

“And there will no longer be any night; and they will not have need of the light of a lamp nor the light of the sun, because the Lord God will illumine them; and they will reign forever and ever.” (Revelation 22:5, NASB)

Jamal Jivanjee

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18 responses to Blown Lightbulbs & Signs of Pure Love…

  1. Thank you for this well timed wisdom. I now understand some things taking place in my life.

  2. beautiful post, filled with vivid imagery, and meaning. as a retired electrician this resonated with me on several levels, I would like to share some basic electrical theory.

    for a bulb to express light it must have two wires, on from the power source, and the other to the neutral, or grounded source, if either one is interrupted the lamp will not illuminate. energy is constantly flowing through the lamp as it is illuminated, and is never static. all electrical connections must be made of current caring material, copper is most common, silver is used where connection are vital, and gold is the best by far current carrying conductor. the lamp when it is illuminated does not work of its own, it’s only the power flowing through the lamp that provides the illumination. lamps are rated for a proper voltage source, if the power source is greater than the lamps rating the lamp will fail. when all connection are proper and the lamp provides light to all, it does not discriminate, only illuminates.

    Love and Light are inseparable for they are ‘One’

    great post my very dear brother, I Love you so…

  3. wow that is a beautiful post and I will be going over it for the rest of the day–thanks so much for your great posts

  4. Dear Jamal, for me your insight breathed new life into what Jesus said, how new wine if put into old wine skins bursts the skins. And how new vessels are needed to contain the new wine. It is the authentic power of His love, when it touches us or anyone in the inner being, that brings death to old paradigms. But that its needed before there can be life. I was encouraged by your post.

    • Jamal and Pamela, I woke up last night thinking about the blown light bulbs. What I was musing about is the intent of Pamela’s comment on wine skins. His Love wrecks our old ‘vehicle’ totally, and in order to move, we need a new ‘vehicle’, and this is His Love.

      “in Him we move and find our being”

    • Pamela,

      Without your friendship, this post could not have been written. Love you:)

  5. WOW! Tnnx ! :-O From Vinny L I T ( Lover in training) 😉

  6. Heather Toftness November 28, 2013 at 2:21 pm


    Reading this post was like a “light bulb moment”! ;o) So much of our current season now makes sense. Light bulbs are popping around us as we feel about in the darkness. Knowing now that there is one who is working to remove the “old” and replace it with the “new” brings such Peace.

    Micah as well is an Electrician… another thought on the “Life source”. You can not touch the Life source without being effected by it. It is a “shock” to the system to see Christ and his Love in its purest and simplest form.

    Learning to rest as we learn what it is to share in His sufferings.

    Much Love to you,

    • Heather,

      Great to hear from you sister. Thanks for your insightful comment! I’m very glad that this post was an encouragment to you. Much love to you and your family as well.

  7. I also get light bulbs blow when God is telling me a relationship is about to end…
    I got it when my marriage broke up. Also when my father was about to die…Actually that was a weird scenario because the glass surround of the light bulb fell right into my hands as I was walking under the light, then as I looked up at the light, it blew….God was saying he was in it and it would be supernatural…And it definitely was…My dad had a vision of the lord in his last hour of his life and got saved right before he died….God didn’t use us, he did it all himself….My dad had an angel upon him when he died……
    We also get water leaks and toilet blockages when God wants us to move house….
    I love the way God speaks to his people…..

  8. I have lightbulbs pop when usually I am on my own for a weekend or suchlike, when I say pop i mean sometimes they can pop so hard that once the pieces smashed and a bit fragment landed in my hair- I wasn’t hurt. I cant rememvber what was happening in my life.
    But today a lightbulb popped in my Kitchen I’ve been through such an awful three years, fathers death, family fighting, and long term partner left. I sat in a church on crutches on Tuesday; after the Dr’s are finally taking notice of my broken ankle- it’s taken them a year.
    I cried to myself simply because the Vicar said hello. Maybe you’re right God is trying to say life is to change and get brighter.

  9. Hi jamal, this is an amazing post. your explanation is spiritual.
    please help me. i had a dream, i was in a house where there was 4 bulbs working. the brightness was bigger and it was hot. i decided to switch off all the bulbs not by using switches, but by holding the bulb itself and twist it. i was shorter to reach the bulb, instead, i took a long steel to use it. when it touched the bulb, the bulb blown out and fell down.therefore the other three bulbs started blowing themselves without touching them and the place was so dark.i woke up having no idea what it meant.Day after i went to the office to clean, behind me i heard a sound like something burst and fell down when i checked i found it was a bulb that was blown.
    Jamal, what is it? please help.

  10. Thank you for this amazing post. Yesterday, three bulbs went out at my house. It had been a particularly difficult and deeply emotional day for me. When the first one went out, I didn’t think anything of it. Then the second one a few hours later, I was a little taken back, and when the third happened just a couple hours later I knew it had to mean something.
    ” It is your love that is breaking old bulbs. Keep the switch on and the love flowing, even when the old bulbs burn out. I promise someone is in the process of changing the bulb. In the end, not only will you have received back those relationships that were lost, many more will be added to you.”
    God bless you.

  11. Hi thanks for this i needed it i have been having dreams about blown bulbs and 3 went out at 1 time and i was searching for an answer to what this means and praying but not understanding and God has answered my question with your article awesome!!! Thanks a bunch!

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