“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
I felt more at peace this past Christmas season then I had in years. Writing the daily blog was a great way for me to keep my eyes fixed on Jesus during the craziness of Christmas. But then unexpectedly and without warning my hard drive crashed, and writing on my computer was no longer an option. While this might be seen as a minor inconvenience by some, it was an anxiety producing disaster for me. All of my curriculum lessons were on that hard drive, along with all our photos and videos. The uncertainty of whether the data could be recovered was a cause of great concern. And the guilt of not having backed my computer up sooner was eating away at me.
Suddenly, my peaceful little world was disorganized and uncertain. Writing anything became difficult. Arranging to borrow my husband’s computer to do edits and essential writing became bothersome. And my attitude became defeated. I wish I could say that I immediately turned to God’s Word and found peace in the trial, but it took awhile. Instead, I found myself sleeping more (always my preferred stress coping technique). Worry crept in, and I resented how far behind I was getting on everything. It was going to take 4 days to get an appointment to have my computer looked at! All I could see was what I was not able to do. It took a visit to a library and a sweet prayer to remind me to focus on what I could do.
Over the Christmas break, we went to the Billy Graham Library. I had never been before and all I can say is that if you get a chance to go, Go! It was such a sweet place. I wish I lived closer and could just sit on a bench there and write everyday. There are a few places I have been in my life where the presence of the Holy Spirit seemed palpable and this was one of them. It was so encouraging to hear the story of God’s calling on Billy Graham’s life, and how He used a simple farm boy to proclaim His message to millions. It was an inspiring day and like balm to my soul.
God reminded me that day that He is bigger than computer problems, and any interruptions He allows are for His purposes. I began to ask Him what His purpose might be in my getting further behind in my lessons, and in the possibility of losing so much data. The answer didn’t come right away, but it did come.
I was sharing with my prayer partner at Bible study about my computer woes and how far behind I was getting. She prayed for me and as she prayed she said, “Lord, we trust that You have allowed this to happen so that Jen will be able to see You work in big ways. I ask You to bring those lessons to her mind in such a way that she has no doubt they are from you. What seems impossible to her now, will be obvious to her that it was only through Your power that it was accomplished.”
Wow! I hadn’t even thought about it like that before? Could this interruption be God’s blessing so that I can SEE Him in a new and fresh way? I have been praying that I would SEE Him more clearly this year. I have been asking God to reveal Himself to me in small ways and in big ways. Could this interruption be an answer to prayer? I couldn’t write my lessons yet, but I could thank God for the interruption. I could spend time in His Word. And I could trust that He would provide.
How many interruptions have I viewed as a burden when they were meant to be a blessing?
My computer is now fixed and my data was saved (thanks to God and my genius of a husband). And I am still 6 lessons behind. However, I am trusting that God will provide and that His will is far more important than my comfort. I am slowly learning that God’s peace is very different than my illusion of peace. My peace depends on my circumstances, but God’s peace is constant and will sustain me through my circumstances.
“Lord, thank You for interrupting my mundane routine with Your majesty. Thank you for allowing me to SEE You in this challenge. I ask that You hold me close to You and give me the strength to trust in You and not my circumstances.”
(Photo of the Billy Graham Library)