God even loves computer geeks like me

While sitting in the hospital room with my wife on Sunday morning as she was recovering from surgery, I asked her a deep and personal question.  She wanted me to help her with her latest blog entry as she dictated it so I recorded it on my laptop computer.  When she finished it, I asked her how she knew that the Lord loved her.

She didn’t answer me right away but thought about it until this morning after we returned from a follow-up doctor’s visit.  She then shared some things that were unmistakable evidence to her of God’s love for her.  It was a sacred and emotional moment that helped me to know I am not alone in seeing God’s hand in our lives.

Looking beyond the battle

Carol is going through a difficult time right now and it took a lot for her to share those touching personal evidences.  Dealing with her cancer is taking a lot of her energy and sometimes causes her to see only the immediate battle instead of the big picture.  I asked her to take a minute to look beyond the battle and she did.

While we were waiting for the doctors to discharge her yesterday, I shared with her some of the things that are evidence to me that God knows and loves me.  As I held her hand and recounted evidences from my youth of answered prayers, I felt that we don’t pause often enough to realize how the Lord shows each of us his love.

Praying over our flocks

There are so many times in my daily work that I am confronted with situations that tax my technical capabilities.  It can be tough being the only computer dude in a small to medium sized business.  You are expected to be the expert on a myriad number of software and hardware products.  That’s just what an IT Manager does.

Little do my co-workers realize that there is no way that one person can know the answer to every question about all those hundreds of technology products that we use in our business.  I can’t tell you how many times I have prayed for help from my Heavenly Father to be able to respond to yet another difficult tech question.

A not-so-typical problem

Let me give you an example from a recent experience that proved to me that the Lord knew what I was going through.  For several weeks a certain employee had been calling and complaining that emails were not getting through to her from a very important client.  We looked at everything trying to figure out the problem.

Finally, this employee laid down the law and said that this problem had to be fixed now!  I re-inspected all the filters through which our email passes and could find nothing wrong.  As I was reporting back via email, I decided to document the steps I had taken by including screen-prints of each filter and the corresponding settings.

A quiet whispered impression

Just before I was about to hit the send button, which in essence was admitting defeat, something impressed me to take one more look at the screen-prints I had included.  As I reviewed each line very closely, I noticed something so simple that I laughed out loud and then started to shout in joyous exultation.  I had found it!

My wife looked over at me and wondered why her normally so serious husband was shouting, “I’ve got you!” and doing a little happy dance.  I reminded her of the problem I had been dealing with for so long and told her that I had finally found the solution.  It was an exciting moment and one in which I felt profound relief.

The Lord stretches us

The problem was that the client had misspelled the employee’s name in her email address.  What compounded it was that she only did it occasionally and usually on the really urgent emails.  It was only when I had a screen-print in front of me with several copies of the incoming emails that I saw the simple yet terminal problem.

After I pointed the problem out to the employee with perhaps too much enjoyment, and everyone was happy again, I reflected back on how simple the problem really was.  Why hadn’t I seen it before?  I believe it was because the Lord wanted me to get to the point where I was about to admit defeat before he stepped in to help me.

Tender mercies of the Lord

I had done everything I knew how to do to resolve the problem.  I was convinced that it was what we call in the industry a false positive, or a piece of email being blocked in the spam filter because it met the criteria of the complex spam rules.  But it wasn’t a filter problem.  It just didn’t know where to deliver the email.

The Lord knows how much I hate to admit defeat.  I am a problem-solver by nature and thrive on resolving deep and complex technical issues.  That’s what makes my job enjoyable.  It is evidence to me that God loves me because he reached out and rescued me from having to admit defeat by prompting me to take that one last look.

The small and simple things

Now you may say that this was all just a big coincidence and that God had nothing to do with helping me to resolve the problem.  You may even say that I must not be very smart to have not seen right away that an email address had been misspelled.  But I can tell you that several of us had already looked at those screens for weeks.

This is not the only time the Lord has helped me in my work.  I could probably fill a dozen essays with example after example of how the Lord inspired me or blessed me to be able to do something that was beyond my natural ability.  I have studied and have worked in tech support my entire career but I have rarely done it alone.

Beyond my natural abilities

Success in my career is important to me.  It helps me to fulfill the commandment of the Lord to provide for my family.  Because the Lord gave me this responsibility and commandment, I feel that I have the right to call upon him to bless me in my work so that I can be successful.  It’s like we are in a sacred partnership together.

I have not always seen the hand of the Lord in my work.  Sometimes I have made rather foolish mistakes and wonder why they happened to me.  I look back and realize that I had been trying to do it on my own or not giving the Lord credit for helping me.  I always perform beyond my natural abilities when I ask God for help.

The Lord chastens us

The same thing applies to my spiritual life.  I have seen the hand of the Lord in my spiritual growth and development numerous times – too many to enumerate.  But I have not always acknowledged his kindness in helping me.  That’s when I struggle and wonder why I feel like I’m going through my life’s experiences all by myself.

It is only when I stop and think that I realize how truly blessed I am and how much the Lord must really love me.  The scripture says that the Lord chastens those who he loves.  If our chastening experiences are any indication then we must be some of the Lord’s chosen.  Now if I only knew for what purpose we are being chosen.

Preparing for eternity

I suppose I already know the answer.  Just as it is easy to overlook the hand of the lord in my work, thinking that something so mundane as computer tech support can’t be of any interest to the Lord, it is just as easy to overlook the tender mercies of the Lord in our lives as we pass through this episode of cancer in Carol’s body.

I love Carol and I will love her forever.  I chose her to be my companion not only for this life but forever.  I am convinced that we will pass through this cancer scare successfully.  I believe that the doctors caught it early enough that it will not be a problem once it is removed in the surgery next week.  That in itself is a miracle.

Summary and conclusion

It is easy to think that God doesn’t love us or isn’t interested in our mundane lives.  But if we stop and take the time to think about it, God is very involved in what we do each day.  We just have to look for ways that mean something special to us.  In my example, it was a subtle impression to inspect a screen-print just a little closer.

In Carol’s case, it is being able to fall asleep after a prayer in spite of tremendous pain, or wondering why you’re not stepping on the gas when the light turns green and then watching someone run a red light in front of you.  What about you?  How does the Lord demonstrate to you that he loves you and is involved in your life?

11 thoughts on “God even loves computer geeks like me”

  1. Thank you so much for this post. I too have just passed through 5 years of trial and chastening in almost every aspoect of my life. I could never have done this without the Lord’s help because left up to me I would have given up long ago. I was inspired at the beginning of this trial to make sure I share and teach the things I learn to my children. They have been witnesses to the Lord’s hand in our lives and his tender mercies that have saved us many times.

  2. Tim, this was sad news to hear about Carol’s situation. You will all be in my prayers. I know you will be comforted, and I know that God will be watching over you. Thanks for sharing these personal issues in such a beautiful and instructive way.

  3. It has been too long since the last time I have come to read your blog. Waaaaaaaaaaay too long.
    I am sorry to hear about Carol’s health situation and I think you’re right to see things the way you do. Cancer is still a serious thing but taken soon enough it can be cured.
    I’ll be thinking of you both.

  4. Remember, my friend, that it will be the saint geeks that will run the mega-mega computers during the millenium that will transfer the family data from heaven to earth for all the vicarious work. (disclaimer: the above is not doctrinal, your mileage may vary)

  5. Closet Doubter

    Tim, I’m sorry to hear about your wife. I’m sure you already know about this site (http://www.cancer.gov/) but I found it very helpful when my daughter had cancer. I especially liked the “physicians” section for each type of cancer, as it did not sugar coat anything, just told it like it is.

  6. Tim,

    I think the Lord is with us more than we realize. I also believe He is willing to be much more involved with us if we really want Him to be.

    Tim asked: What about you? How does the Lord demonstrate to you that he loves you and is involved in your life?

    I’ve learned by experience that as a follower of Christ there are things I can do to have closer contact with the Lord. ASK!

    The Lord can not, by law, provide us with all the blessings He has in store for us if we don’t ask.

    I suggest that we “experiment” with the law of asking. For example, ask the Lord to help you recognize His blessings in your life. Ask Him to help you grow in your ability to recognize when prayers are answered. Being able to recognize the Lord’s hand in our life is a Spiritual gift–the gift of discernment.

    Pray and fast for this gift. It may take awhile depending where we’re at in our standing before the Lord. It might be that we will receive direction to do something before our prayer will be answered. The Lord might prompted us to repent of something.

    I’d suggest keeping a journal so that when “feelings” come to us we can write them down. Have access to paper to write your promptings down soon after receiving them (within minutes). Take special notice of prompting that come in the morning as you’re waking up. Act on them.

    Don’t let discouragement deter you. Satan will take notice and you might be challenged in some way to give up. Fast and prayer for strength. The Lord won’t let us down, we can grow in our ability to be close to the Lord if we really want to. It takes time and patience just like every thing else in life that is worth achieving.

    I know by my own experience that this approach works!

  7. It’s hard to be cynical when you talk about your wife’s health problems. I hope everything works out well for her, and for you, whatever that means.

    I would not agree with you that the Lord chastens us. I would agree that life, in general chastens us, and if we have a weakness, then we naturally wind up having problems with that particular aspect of life.

    However, I do agree with you that God will help us when we do our part to open the lines of communication, which I believe are always available to us.

    For what it’s worth, I also do not believe God does anything FOR us. I believe the Spirit only instructs us on how we can do it for ourselves. Your story is an excellent example of that.

    If you need anything for your wife, please post it on your blog. Maybe some of us can help.

  8. Oh, do I love this blog!
    I know the Lord loves me because he sent two angels to me that helped save me from myself. I know He loves me because no matter how cold that water was, He wasn’t about to let that stop me from feeling the Spirit.
    I know He loves me because He revealed to me that one Sunday in Gospel Essentials that I was that prodigal son. I know it because He answered my prayers a hundredfold concerning being with the people I love. I know He does because I feel His love every time those strong arms of Brother Capener embrace me.
    I know he does because even when I fail and sin, He shows me that He can totally wipe it clean.

    I know He does because I know He lives.

  9. Sharon from Mississippi

    Having just been through the long process of caring for a loved one who was dying (my husband Warren), I can soooo relate, Tim.

    Just remember: “…after much tribulation cometh the blessings.” (D&C 58:2–4).

    Perhaps you’ll find this 1979 Ensign article to be of comfort:

    Sending you and Carol my love and prayers.

  10. Hello Tim. I am sorry to hear about your wife. I’ll be sure to continue to keep her in prayer. Give her a get-well-soon from me, if you would. Bye for now.

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