In some spheres of life, faith is relatively easy. In the areas of life that we can’t control, or that we don’t understand, we often find ourselves helpless, and, as a result, we are more easily prone to look to God.
But in the areas of life where we do feel some ability to exert control, where we do have knowledge and understanding, it may be more difficult to turn in faith. Somehow, we have built up this notion that our knowledge and our faith are at odds; where we have knowledge, we struggle to have faith, but where we lack knowledge, we find ourselves desperate enough to exert faith.
Perhaps we approach faith like fiction, expecting “a willful suspension of disbelief.” We find movies entertaining because we are willing to leave reality at the door, and allow the actor and directors to pull off some things that we otherwise would not accept. And we may approach the intersection of life and faith in the same way.
In the areas of life where we feel that we have knowledge or control, we often find that suspending ourselves is too difficult. It may be difficult for a medical expert to pray for physical healing. It may be difficult for an accountant to pray for balanced books. It may be difficult for an artist to pray for a masterpiece.
For me, I’ve got some background in computers. I often find myself serving in informal tech support/IT roles; I’m definitely the family computer repairman.
This past week, a family member had a problem with a laptop. It was plugged in during a lightning storm and went a little haywire. An IT person at a local institution deemed it “dead, do not resuscitate.” That would mean that my family member would have to spend a few hundred dollars to replace it. I was burdened to help. I figured perhaps we could just replace the hard drive, which would at least be cheaper than buying a whole new unit.
So, I took the computer home. After some initial testing, it did look like the hard drive might need to be swapped out. That night, while trying to fall asleep, I asked the Lord to use this opportunity to glorify Himself. I asked Him to fix the computer and save my family member the money. And He did.
The following morning, before heading out to buy a new hard drive, I decided to try again to redo the existing system: reformat the hard drive and reinstall the operating system. To my delight, after a few attempts, it worked. By late afternoon, the computer was alive again and functioning, with no apparent need for repairs. It took some time, but it didn’t take any money.
Now, I understand some things about computers. To pray for a corrupted hard drive to become uncorrupted seems a little ridiculous. Injuries done by lightning bolts don’t just undo themselves. And they don’t. But thankfully, God’s into the ridiculous.
God fixed the computer. He used me to tap some things on the keyboard, but He fixed it. He delivered us from the need to spend several hundred dollars for a replacement–and went beyond and even spared us from the cost of a new hard drive.
Is computing an area where I feel like I have some knowledge and some control? Yes. Is it difficult sometimes to suspend my disbelief that prayer–the power of God on earth–would make a difference is such a mechanistic sphere of life? Yes. And yet, does God answer prayers to fix computers? Yes.
I wish I could claim that this faith was sufficient for all areas of life. It’s not. I’m still growing, But at least I can say that I have faith for computers.
And I’m looking forward to seeing in which area of life He chooses next to demonstrate His power, concern, and sovereignty.