Author Ava Pennington
Author Ava Pennington

They kept coming. For every fifty I swatted, two hundred took their place. There was no way I could survive the onslaught…of spam.

When I turned on my computer, my inbox was filled with 62,465 “undeliverable” error messages. I began deleting, but the incoming waves quickly brought the number to more than 63,000 and counting. It reminded me of the 19th century Anglo-Zulu War. That war included such mismatched battles as Rorke’s Drift (3,000-4,000 Zulu warriors against 150 British soldiers) and Isandlwana (20,000 Zulu against 2,000 British and native defenders).

A feeling of panic overwhelms when insidious, invisible hackers leave very visible results. They made me feel outnumbered and helpless. I had depended on my virtual world, but it proved undependable…and I realized it was never dependable in the first place. HackersFive minutes more, and my inbox total trumpeted more than 64,000 failure messages. Someone had programed my email to send out spam to thousands of other addresses. Sixty-four thousand email addresses had been spammed by me and I couldn’t do a thing about it, other than try to stop more from going out. It was me vs. the hackers…and I was losing.

I needed help. Before I could call my webmaster, he contacted me. He was already working on the problem. First, he changed my password. Then he shut down my email account to stop the incoming flood of messages. And then he began the tedious job of deleting the spam without deleting valid messages. By the end of the morning things were back to normal…except that I no longer trust what is innately untrustworthy.

My Christian life is a lot like my virtual life. I can be going along, lulled into a false sense of control, when BAM! The temptations come in violent waves. My thought-life is assailed and once again I feel outnumbered and helpless. At first, I might try to battle it out on my own. But when I do, I soon realize I will be no more successful than the Brits at Isandlwana or my own attempts at stopping floods of spam that strike like virtual arrows.

And so I call for help. Proverbs 18:10 (NIV) says, “The name of the LORD is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.” I’m not strong enough on my own to stop the onslaught, but I can run to the One who is. God’s Spirit in me makes me strong enough. I can’t protect myself against temptation, but God “is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him, and I am helped” (Psalm 28:7 NASB).

For my virtual life, I’m glad I’m a client of Website Ministries. For my spiritual life, I’m glad I’m a child of my heavenly Father, saved by Christ, and strengthened by His Holy Spirit.

What do you do when you’re outnumbered?

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