It all started out innocently enough. I was doing
a routine search of the ministry websites, looking for a story that had
been published a couple of years ago, and when the site search engines
repeatedly crashed my web browser, I decided to look it up on Google.
Totally innocent . . .
I found what I was looking for immediately. The listings from the ministry came up first on the list. But there were other listings as well. My eyes began to scan through the list: A Christian website I submit stories to from time to time; a couple of church websites; a . . . Wait a minute! What's this? A web address that I don't recognize? What would my story be doing on a site I don't recognize?
Curious and more than a little surprised, I clicked on the link. After all, I had given no one permission to republish my work on this site. As the web page came up, my curious surprise turned quickly into disgust. My story was published in its entirety, but listed below were literally dozens of insulting, offensive comments from the general public. I didn't read all of the postings. I was too upset. How could someone republish a story without permission for the sole purpose of making fun of it? It isn't right!
Further investigation showed that this wasn't my only story posted on this website, and the others were followed by dozens of equally derogatory comments as well! I bowed my head on the computer table and cried. My only purpose in writing these pieces had been to spread the Love of God; yet the world had made them into laughing stock!
I might have continued being upset if it had been left up to me, but God doesn't work that way. The longer my tears of frustration flowed, the more I began to feel God's presence with me, surrounding me, embracing me with utmost peace and security. Then four ideas immediately came to my mind, one right after the other, and I was left with no doubt that God had placed them there:
Initially, God reminded me of why I was searching for this particular piece in the first place. Someone had emailed me to say how blessed they had been by this very story! Obviously not everyone found it to be laughing stock! And then God gave me the first important message: No matter how much others ridicule you for your actions, if something you do is a blessing to just ONE person, it is all worthwhile!
Suddenly, I began to understand that finding this story on this particular website was nothing but a futile attack of the devil, and that the devil's attacks will always be the most severe where God's Work is moving forward the fastest. Then came God's second message: Rather than feeling upset, I should be feeling delighted, elated, even ecstatic! Something that God inspired me to do was actually powerful enough that the devil saw fit to attack it! Wow! Now THAT'S something worth celebrating!
It occurred to me then that although this attack on my writing was a form of persecution, it was nothing compared to the persecution that hundreds of thousands of Christians must suffer on a daily basis. God's third message was clear: If others are going through so much, why should I be upset with so little? I repented of my anger!
God's fourth message came straight from His Word: "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." (Matt 5:10-12 NKJV) I was suddenly filled with a light-hearted joy: I was being allowed to suffer for my Saviour! What a privilege!
I was contemplating all of this later that evening when I went to pick up my son. Being the perceptive boy that he is, he immediately sensed something had happened. "What's wrong, mom?" He asked. "You're awfully quiet. Did something happen?"
He listened carefully as the story unfolded, and then the most precious message of all came forth from his mouth: "Don't be upset, mom," he said. "Your story was read by hundreds of people who would have never read it otherwise. We can only pray that some of those people will be brought to the Lord as a result of reading your story on that site!"
Wow! How small-minded of me to think that the spreading of the gospel could be limited by a couple of derogatory remarks!
I learned a powerful lesson that night. When the devil throws dirt in your face, don't be upset! Rejoice instead! When he tries to trash your ministry, be exceedingly glad! When he smears muck all over the Holy things of the Lord, praise God! Remember: "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (Rom. 8:28)
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Mother of two teens, Speech-Language Pathologist, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, www.scripturalnuggets.org , with Answers2Prayer Ministries, www.Answers2Prayer.org .
P. S. Just a special message for those who may be reading this message for less than honourable reasons: It is a breach of copyright laws to publish the work of someone else without their elicit permission. Please think twice before doing this again!