A week ago, my website was hijacked.
I received an emailed alert from my security company, and when I tried to go to my website to check what was going on, I was instead rerouted to places unrelated to my site, places I did not want to go.
My mind was like a frisky puppy trying to chase down every new question that crossed its path. What if the intruders had also invaded the backup copies before their presence was detected? Would I be able to access my website again? Would ten years of blog posts and free email courses and all I had invested in setting up the website be lost?
Dealing with a hijacking wasn’t what I’d planned for my week. (How often does any week turn out exactly as we’d planned?) A week, a new security company, and a lot of work later, the hijackers have been evicted, the mess cleaned up (at least mostly, I think!), and the doors secured. I’m delighted to be able to welcome you back into this online living room where we can listen together for God’s heartbeat and ask Jesus to help us settle a little more deeply into His love.
I’m also delighted to tell you about an unexpected gift in the week. Even in the midst of the questions and the decisions and the back-and-forth emails with my website host and security companies, a surprising peace was present as I realized that even if I lost ten years’ worth of blog posts and all that I’ve poured into trying to make this online home a welcoming space for you, it would be okay.
It would be sad, of course, because the desire that my life, home, and words be a grace-filled space where we can all settle a little more deeply into God’s love has only deepened over time, but it would not be devastating. Why?
Because when the product disappears, that doesn’t mean the process has been wasted. When Jesus meets us in the creating or offering or receiving of something, we are changed by his presence. And that change isn’t undone even if the means of change later disappears. Nothing we offer to Jesus is wasted.
Sometimes when God asks us to release something to him, he doesn’t actually take it away, like my website (at least so far) or Abraham’s son Isaac.
Other times we give it up and he gives it back in a freer, fuller form, like Jesus’ own life.
And still others, he takes what we offer and doesn’t give it back, like the medical career I gave up a dozen years ago. But even those times turn out to be okay. Or more than okay.
When, sick and unable to practice medicine, I reached what at first looked like a dead end, a hidden path opened up where Jesus was waiting to walk with me, letting me experience his love and wisdom in a way I’m not sure I could have in my previous hectic pace. Though I still sometimes forget, through that I’ve learned this:
No matter what comes, when we are His, we are held.
We really are loved, and safe in that love.
If God allows something that’s important to us to be taken away, He always gives us more of Himself in its place.
And He is worth everything.
P.S. In case you are wondering, subscribers’ email addresses are stored in a completely separate secure location which was not affected, so you don’t need to wonder whether the intruders will have found their way from my site to your inbox. Your information is safe.
P.P.S. If you want a little more help getting to know this God who remains faithful when life falls apart, you might be interested in one of my free email courses, or in my six-week Bible study, When Life Falls Apart.
Photo by Ricardo Viana on Unsplash