April 19, 2008

Blind and in the dark

Frustration almost mowed me down yesterday. We had been experiencing dropped Internet connections on the computers in our home. For me that meant not being able to load web pages at all (I’m webmaster for several), or post my blog entries to the Internet, at least not without several tries. Email was spastic, sometimes coming in and sometimes producing error messages that said I was not connected. If I could send normal email, attachments would not go at all.

For our granddaughter, it was a threat to her final university exam since it is one she takes online. What would happen to her marks if she lost connection right in the middle of it? With a deadline looming, she wasn’t keen on borrowing someone else’s computer to write the exam.

My husband doesn’t care much about email. He gets dozens of messages at work that he has no time to answer there, so why bother with the dozens he gets at home! Yet they were piling up and adding to our sense of needing to have this problem fixed asap.

I called our ISP several times and talked to as many technicians. Some obviously read a list of “steps to take” off a sheet of paper and tried to walk me through things I’d already tried. One told me this was a very mysterious problem and sent a special work order to have it investigated. He thought we probably needed a new modem, but told me to call back in a couple hours. I did (of course was on hold again for nearly an hour) and talked to yet another problem solver. He read off a list too, but in the end, offered a new suggestion.

He told me not to spend money on a new modem. He said some routers do this, and I needed to go online and download new “firmware” for my router. I did that. When I began to install it, a window told me three times “do not interrupt the install or turn off your computer” so I hit “start” and held my breath. It was nearly done when the “dropped connection” window came up. At that point, I started crying and my husband walked in the door from work. He patted my back, I took a deep breath, and we tried again.

This time I moved to his computer. I couldn’t get connected on mine. I couldn’t on his either, but gulping for air, I prayed again. Then, when I typed the router address into his browser (this is a specific number that accesses router features and setup), it opened a new window I’d not seen before, and the install proceeded. When it was done, I had to reset the router (button on the back) and then set up the router again because all the original numbers etc., for our connection to the Internet had been wiped out. Finally, it was finished.

This process took all day. I felt like I’d been run over by a big truck. Then my lovely husband took me out for supper and bought me a Dairy Queen Blizzard on the way home. We now have no Internet connection problems and I am breathing normally. End of story.

What lingers is the sense of not knowing how to fix something that was not working, and not being able to find anyone else that either cared, or knew the answers. I felt as if I were in a blackened room with a blanket over my head, plugs in my ears, and a blindfold over my eyes. This morning I opened my devotional book, Ears from Harvested Sheaves, and read:
Those that are blinded by the god of this world have no knowledge of what power and feeling and savor and dew are; they see not these things, they are blind to their reality, they are dead to their importance.
The author goes on to say that the children of God “have eyes to see what power is, and hearts too, to desire to feel its manifestation” and it is this desire that proves that we are children of God. If we did not long for more of Him, long for deeper understanding, deeply desire an even closer relationship, it would be because we didn’t have any of that in the first place.

A person without Christ cannot imagine life with Him any more than a person born blind can imagine sight. Those without a personal relationship with Jesus have no idea how wonderful that relationship is, nor can they imagine or desire it.

These ideas came from Romans 11:7. “What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were blinded.

Those whom God brings into His “kingdom of light” can see the marvels of the kingdom. Those who are still in the “kingdom of darkness” have no idea what they are missing.

Of course I’m thinking about yesterday’s sense of being in the dark. Had I never had a proper functioning Internet connection prior to this, I may not have known that dropped signals were an abnormality. My sense of frustration proved, as it were, that I knew better things. Had I not known, I would never have spent so many hours trying to fix it.

Christians often cannot fathom the lack of interest in those who do not believe in Jesus Christ. We know the wonder of being loved unconditionally, of having our sins forgiven, of being able to commune with God, of having assurance of eternal life with Him, and so much more. We shake our heads in perplexity when someone says, “Who needs it?” or makes fun of our faith. We tell them what we know, and about the One who loves us, but they say no, and we say, “Can’t they see?”

No, they can’t.

It seems that what I went through yesterday parallels a little of that life in the dark. If it was a ploy by my enemy to keep me from praying for the lost, he lost. My own sense of frustration at being without answers had a redemptive result; it increased my burden for those who cannot see.

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