February 22, 2008

I missed it

This blog is called “Practical Faith” which means I’m reading the Word of God and using it in everyday life. Sometimes this is easy, but there are days when I forget about faith and struggle to do something without even asking God for help. On those days I’m like the stubborn child who wants to “do it myself” without any interference from my parents. (Double-click on this clipart to see the results.)

For the past few weeks, I’ve been fighting to upload a website that I design and upgrade. The people that host the site had a hacker problem on their computers and lost some files, so this needed to be done. However, it wasn’t working. They supposedly moved what they had to a new server (a type of computer), but I could not access it. Finally, after speaking to the fourth technician, they told me their new servers do not support the software that I am using.

All this meant that I had to move the site to another web hosting company. In fear that I would botch it, I began looking, found a new one that has a good reputation, and called them. They sent me a clear explanation of what to do, but I had a bad case of the ‘what-ifs’ and my stomach still churned as I did it. What if I messed it up so badly that it could not be fixed? What if they would not help me when I got in trouble?

The Bible says, “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.

Could anything be more practical? Don’t worry about stuff. Instead, take it to God and be thankful; He is listening. Give the problems to Him and in return, He will give me that incredible peace that does not make sense in my given situation. He does this to show that He is guarding me. My heart and mind are safe in His care and resting in His sovereign power.

Only I didn’t do it. I did pray, but I forgot the thankful part. Even if I’d remembered these verses as all this was happening, I didn’t think I had much to be thankful for.

Yesterday I bit the bullet and tried following the instructions. First I uploaded all my files to a new temporary address. Thrilled that this worked, then I went online and to the place where the domain names are managed. The window told me that if I removed the DNS (numbers that tell the Internet where to find my files), I could not put them back (or something like that). It felt like jumping off a cliff blindfolded. But I did it. Then I put in the new numbers from the new web hosting company. Would it work?

I typed in the temporary address, and the web pages I’d uploaded appeared on my screen. I was jubilant. The anxiety was gone. The problem was fixed. I was almost dancing around my house. I called the old hosting company and told them to remove the DNS numbers from their computers. All this will take a few days, but I’m no longer anxious and thanking God for hearing my request of “make this work.”

This morning He gently reminds me that I’m still a child. The reading from God is Enough says this, “Who is the best cared for in every household? Isn’t it the children? And doesn’t the least of all, the helpless baby, receive the largest share? The baby doesn’t toil or spin, yet he is fed, clothed, loved, and rejoiced in more tenderly than the hardest worker.

“The life of faith, then, consists in just this—being a child in the Father’s house. This is enough to transform every weary, burdened life into one of blessedness and rest. Leaving yourselves in His hands, learn to be literally ‘careful for nothing,’ and you will find that the peace of God which passes all understanding will keep (as within a garrison) your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

I spent all that time and energy in anxiety and found peace only after it worked, but I could have spent all that time without anxiety had I took the issue to God in the first place, thanking Him and trusting Him, allowing Him to give me His peace so I could actually enjoy the process that He put me through. It was a learning curve, not a trial. It was an opportunity to grow, not an annoying circumstance.

God was trying to make my faith practical and I missed it.

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