Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Hail To The Lord's Anointed"1 (Lyrics)
Recently, I've been thinking about the blessings that have come out of the self-isolation due to the current lockdown. For one thing, I have been grateful to God for the gift of time to improve the PresbyCan website. In early May, I began with a desire to purge, for the first time in over 7 years, inactive registered PrayerLine users from the list of almost 700. During the process of keeping track of the approximately 145 active users, I noticed that people were switching back and forth between pages after they had clicked on each "I Prayed For You" button. When I listed all the information on one page, people reported that PrayerLine was much more convenient to use.
However, I also discovered that about 13 percent of the clicks on the "I Prayed For You" buttons were being generated by search engine robots, such as Google and Bing! Since robots can't pray, I changed the buttons into ones that the robots couldn't activate. Now, the numbers beside each PrayerLine request accurately indicate the level of prayer support.
Having already spent about three weeks on these projects, I remembered that the desktop version of PresbyCan is hard to read on smartphones and tablets. Twice in the previous half-dozen years, I had tried to fix this, but gave up because I couldn't make the side columns go below the centre column in the way that I wanted them to! This time, through persistence and research, I succeeded, and smartphone and tablet users will notice a big improvement.
Then, a reader alerted me that her browser was warning her that the PresbyCan website was "unsafe" to visit. I was able to correct the errors, so that potential readers will no longer be dissuaded from visiting our site.
Such tasks have taken five weeks, but it has been a blessing to have such absorbing and exciting projects to improve the website during this lockdown. I believe that God can use anything for good, because this is my favourite verse:
Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. (NKJV)
If isolation and sheltering in place have been a depressing trial for you, begin to think of the blessings that have come into your life that couldn't have happened without this lockdown. For what can you give thanks to the Lord? The Lord can use for good even the things that we consider evil. When we give Him thanks, we are expressing trust in His goodness, and affirming that faith actually releases His power to bring about changes in us and in our circumstances.
Prayer: Lord God, alert us to the good in our lives that You are accomplishing — or might accomplish — through what looks evil, so that we can give You thanks in all things. Amen.