Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
– Romans 8:37-39, NKJV
I don’t like calling customer service. I do everything in my power to not pick up that phone. Phone connection and customer service just don’t mix for me.
Last week, I had to bite the bullet and make a call to Microsoft. First, I tried researching the issue myself to no avail. Then, I tried chatting with someone online but they couldn’t help me because they couldn’t see my computer. But, I couldn’t save any documents and being a writer that meant I couldn’t work. So, I sent up a prayer to God, hoped for the best, and picked up the phone.
I must admit, I was irritated as soon as Jake came on the line. By that point, I had been working on the issue for quite some time. He was being so friendly and helpful but I just was too frustrated to notice. After a few minutes, I said, “I apologize for being so irritating but I lost a chapter for my novel and now I am stalled on the project because I don’t have a way to save documents.” He said, “I am sorry you lost something so important. I totally understand your frustration.” Then, he tried to help me find the chapter I lost. I never found it, but the fact that he tried to help me look for it was impressive.
So, we continued working on the actual problem. He asked me if it was okay to install software to allow him access to my computer. Once I gave permission and we installed the software, he went to work. He was sure to explain each step and to ensure that I understood what he was doing. He had control of my computer but I was part of the process.
After about two hours, he cleaned up all of my corrupted files, re-installed Microsoft Office 365 and helped me test the new version to ensure it was working. He even solved another problem I was having with the connection between my installation and my Microsoft account, which meant I kept having to sign in over and over again to verify my subscription. But, get this, he went one step further and provided me with one free month of Office 365.
This experience is the best I’ve had with customer service in a long, long, long time. As we ended the call, I told him how determined I was to figure this out on my own. He said that because of the type of subscription I have that I am entitled to call Microsoft any time I need them. I told him thank you and we hung up the line.
As I was reflecting on the experience, I thought about the Christian experience. Like my Microsoft installation, we come to Christ as corrupted versions of the imago Dei (image of God). When we turn our lives over to Christ, the Holy Spirit comes into our heart and cleans up all the corrupted files – the mess of sin. Then, the love of God starts installing new software onto the hard drive of our soul. As this new software takes over, it starts cleaning up stuff – even stuff we didn’t know about.
Also, like my faulty connection between my computer and my Microsoft account, God’s new software changes our faulty connection to God. This faulty connection causes us to believe that we have to validate our right to be loved over and over again. We try to earn God’s love; we try to be good enough for God’s love; we try to be successful enough to earn God’s love. We try all of these fruitless things to get from God that which God freely gives – a connection to abundant grace, and mercy and love. And, like the free month of service from Microsoft, you always get more than you expect with God. God always blesses us more than we can even dare, ask, think or imagine.
I don’t know about you, but that is some Good News. The fact that God loves us so much that nothing can destroy our connection, even if it is faulty from time to time. God is still connected to us. God still wants us no matter what. God still wants to clean us up no matter what and no matter how long it takes. Get this, even if we never get it all right, God still loves us no matter what.
The one thing we have to do is keep the connection open. Another thing we must do is to allow As with Jake, who had to take control of my computer before he could help me, we must allow God to take full control. But, get this, God is not a dictator. God wants us to be part of the sanctification process. God expects our full participation. God wants us to say what’s on our mind, what’s in our hearts, and what we are feeling. That’s called prayer. Prayer is about connection, and God is all about the connection.
So, in closing, I ask the question: how is your connection to God?