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by Bridgett Lopata

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15: 1-13

A few weeks ago, several of the programs on my work computer stopped working. These programs were essential to my job, so I tried to figure out how to fix them. After many failed attempts and wasted time, I gave up trying on my own and called IT. They asked a bunch of questions and remotely entered into my computer system. IT discovered that the problem was created when I had inadvertently selected Chrome as my default browser. Every program that used a different browser was therefore affected. I am not going to pretend to understand the complexity of the issue or everything they did to fix it, but I do know that the programs had to be uninstalled and corrected before everything could function properly once again.

I realized that I have done the same thing with my heart. I discover that joy, and peace and hope are often broken – not present.

And so, in my pride, I try to fix it on my own. (Spoiler alert: It never works.)

I have wasted a great deal of time and energy trying to repair the brokenness in my life. Eventually I realize that I need to call “IT” to help. The conversation that follows usually goes something like this: 

Me: “I need help.” 
God: “Okay, I am working “remotely” by the means of the Holy Spirit. Do you trust me?” 
Me: “Yes.”
God: “I am first going to look under settings. It appears that your default has recently been set to Things of this world, rather than Child of God. May I change this default?”
Me: “Yes please. That setting seems to get messed up a lot.” 
God: “The setting has been changed. Now I am going to see what programs are running in the background. Past Hurt is still running. Unfortunately, this is part of the hardware installed in your heart and I cannot uninstall it. I will however move in into a new folder called Redeemed. This will prevent it from interfering with some of the new programs I am going to install.” 
Me: “Okay, I did not realize that program was still running.”
God: “Next I am going to look in your recycle bin. It looks like there are several megabytes of Grudges and Resentment being held in there. May I permanently delete them? It should allow for you heart to love more fully and freely.” 
Me: “Yes. All those files can be permanently deleted.”
God: “Okay, it may take a little while for all those files to be erased. While your heart is completing this, I would like to install Forgiveness. It should prevent most of these files from saving in the future.” 
Me: “Okay.” 
God: “Now I am going to look at the programs that are currently running. It looks like your heart is currently running Sadness, Anxiety, and Fear. Can I overwrite these programs with Joy, Peace, and Hope
Me: “Yes please.”
God: “While those programs are overwriting, I am going to check a few other settings. I am going to turn off Hate and turn on Love. I am also going to turn off harsh Self-Criticism and turn on Self-Worth. This setting only works when you are running under the default operating system Child of God. I will also make sure your threat protection is up to date.” 
Me: “Thank you.” 
God: “One final thing. In order for all of these changes to remain, please make sure you are installing the daily upgrades from my system. The most effective way to do this is read my word and pray. It looks like everything is updated. All of the new programs I installed will run better when they are connected with other users in my network.”
Me: “Thank you, God.” 

If your hard drive is already full of junk, there is no room for new things to be added. Sometimes we have to unbecome one thing in order to be ready for something else. Our true self, the Child of God self, can get buried under all sorts of things such as people’s opinions, false beliefs, or cultural standards. There are times when we have to unlearn these to be the person we were created to be. There are things that cannot exist together – faith and fear, light and darkness, trust and anxiety.

We must be willing to let go of the bad in order to receive the good.