I had dreaded my 50th birthday. Success in my life was hard to see, compared to others. I longed to know that I could make a difference in other lives through writing. Then I considered creating a website to reach this goal.
Using website-builder websites, I pursued this project. However, I kept starting over, making it take more than a year.
After my third attempt, I liked what I saw. Excitement gripped me as I poured myself into designing this website.
It grew to fill my whole vision. Hours flowed by as I worked. I found myself mulling over more changes to make while sitting in church.
One afternoon last month, I was in the computer room editing my website when the phone rang. While on the phone, I kept glancing at the website on the computer screen. I itched to get back to work. Soon after resuming editing, an error message appeared in bold red type.
Alarmed, I also found a purple circle slapped onto my site’s log-in image. Bold red words told me that the site is blocked: contact the support team. My heart hammered. I searched for help, but found none.
In an old email, I spotted a support team's help form. The form was sent. Trembling and wiping my eyes, I turned the computer off and left the room.
For the next several days, I checked the website. It still blocked me from seeing and editing the site. My emails to the support team emails disappeared into silence. Nothing helped.
I asked myself, had God taken away my website? Tears rolled down my face as I begged God to remove the block.
Two weeks after the block began, I realized that I had made this website an idol. I had offended God. Instead of glorifying God, I had thought of the website as mine.
It made me feel important, but insecurity was there too. Comparing myself with others, I came up short. I was afraid to share, yet I needed to share to find affirmation. Focusing on myself trapped me.
That morning, I confessed and repented of my sin and found release. When I checked the website that afternoon, I sat and stared in wonder. The block was gone! Peace soothed my heart.
The next day, I was astounded to find the support team's answer to the first email I'd sent. They said there had been a “technical error”, but I knew better. God had prevented them from receiving anything I sent since then. I thank my Father for his loving discipline.
After the painful discipline, God's words comforted me. Jesus said that “as the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love,” (John 15:9,10 KJV).
I want to abide in his love, and find in him everything I need. I remember what a guest speaker at church told us last year: success is doing what God has given you to do. (John 17:4) That’s what I had been striving for until I got off track.
A favorite Bible verse came to mind. Jesus’ death on the cross cleansed me from sin, and made me “accepted in the beloved,”(Eph. 1:6 KJV). He now accepts me completely. I also turned to a reassuring verse God had given me:
“For I know the thoughts I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end,” (Jeremiah 29:11 KJV).
His thoughts about me are what counts. His thoughts are peace between himself and me, peace that was bought by Jesus' blood. He wants me to love, trust, and live to please Him. As I do, he will satisfy my heart.