Today’s post is a personal testimony grappling with last week’s post about overcoming obstacles. If you haven’t read the post yet, you may want to check it out at http://hweehweetan.com/overcoming-obstacles/
Last week, I had just finished writing the post and I was pretty proud and satisfied with myself. I thought I had written one of my best and most inspiring post so far. I geared myself up to post the blog entry onto my website.
Then trouble struck.
I couldn’t log onto my blog.
I kept entering my password for about an hour, but to no avail, as the screen just stayed frozen and refused to let me log onto the administrator for my website.
I sent an anxious message to my website designer, Andrew, to ask him to help me fix the problem.
A few hours later, Andrew got back to me and asked if I had done anything unusual with the site as he couldn’t figure out what was wrong with the log-in. It was an unusual problem since the website was up, the only problem was that I couldn’t log in. I told him that the only thing I did to the site recently was to post an entry last Wednesday. I asked him how long it would take to fix my site. He said he was unable to give me a timeline as he wasn’t sure what was causing the problem.
I started to get really worried about my site. My mind was racing around, thinking of all sorts of negative scenarios. Would I have to create another new site if I couldn’t access my old site? Would this new replacement site cost me a lot of money?
I was totally distracted during the afternoon. I would try to log in to the site every fifteen minutes, but to no avail.
But my real struggle was a spiritual one.
I had to keep my focus on what I shared in the blog post I wrote about “overcoming obstacles”. I had to believe that even though this problem I was facing seemed out to harm me, God could use it for my good, use it to promote me. I had to believe that God promised me victory in the end, that He woud empower me to overcome this obstacle of my blog breaking down. I had to learn to have faith and stay in peace.
I tried to stay in peace about my blog break-down but still felt myself getting really stressed. I cried out to God – “I feel overwhelmed. Lord, you know I’m weak, you know I’m trying to stay in peace but I’m having problems being calm. Lord, please help me to have faith in you and be in your peace!” I made myself cast my burden on the Lord, trusting that he would fix my blog problems.
What struck me was that what I wrote in my blog about overcoming obstacles was good theory, but when I faced a significant obstacle in reality, my theories were thoroughly put to the test. One thing that struck me was how unpleasant the experience was. When disaster strikes, the natural reaction is fear and discouragement. These emotions had a physical effect and both my mind and body were in turmoil. But God is faithful. By putting my trust in Him, I was able to reduce the amount of stress I was feeling. The stress didn’t go away all at once, but it was a constant battle to overcome the stress. Every time I felt a stress attack coming, I would remind myself that God will work good in my situation, that I’m a victor and not a victim, and then I would feel his peace gradually soothing my stress. I had to cling to God constantly to not let the worry overwhelm me.
I went to bed that night constantly turning my thoughts to God, focusing on His power and His goodness. I knew God had a purpose for my blog breaking down, it was a test to help me practice what I had written about in theory on my blog post last week. It was to show in reality that what I’d written in theory was true. I reminded myself that I might not now be able to see why this problem was occurring but looking back many years later, God will show me how the problem was part of His plan.
I fell asleep resting in God’s faithful arms.
When I awoke, I checked my phone and saw a message from Andrew. He wrote to me saying he had fixed my website. I saw the time stamp – it was 1.30 am. I was so grateful that he had worked so hard to help me fix my site, I was indeed blessed to have such a friend. Andrew explained to me in an email that basically some of the widgets in my site had gone rogue and was preventing me from logging me. There were many widgets on my site so it took him a long time before he could figure out which widgets were the ones that were causing the problem. I sent an email to Andrew thanking him profusely for his help.
Looking back, I am grateful that my blog did break down, because it helped me practice what I have been preaching on my blog. It showed that God is faithful, that when we face problems, if we turn to Him, He will deliver us. I was also struck by his mercy. I was filled with anxiety, I was weak, yet God was compassionate and comforted me with His peace.
Also on hindsight, the blog breaking down was a relatively minor problem. It wasn’t like I lost my job or got a report from the doctor saying I had cancer. But the good thing about God fixing my blog was that it showed me He was faithful in taking care of me in the small things. And this has strengthened my faith, because seeing God be faithful in the small things has given me courage to trust Him for bigger victories.
Praise God for His amazing grace!