God is Present in Our Trials
A True Story
on Aug 25, 2023
I am an avid blogger. And my blogging role model has been Maria Popova, author of "The Marginalian", a cerebral blog that has been catalogued in the Library of Congress as a material of historical importance. Even though I find most of Popova's articles a bit difficult to digest, I must say that I admire her writing consistency.
Now, Maria Popova is always a step ahead of me in blogging. In 2021 when I heard about SSL (a method of making websites secure so that they have the "https" prefix), I found out Maria Popova's blog was secure while mine wasn't.
Before learning how to add an SSL to my blog, I was a bit apprehensive that the process might be difficult and that my web-hosting company might charge me additional money for it. I therefore asked God to guide me in the process of applying for an SSL.
And wow! Adding an SSL to my blog turned out to be a simple task provided for free by my web-hosting company. I am now happy that my blog address has the "https" prefix, which must be the reason my blog ranking on Google, Bing and Yahoo has improved when one searches "reflections of a young man". (If you didn't know, Google, Bing and Yahoo are the internet's leading search engines.)
Then about two months ago, I found out Maria Popova's blog is recognized by Facebook while mine wasn't. Never one to be left behind, I resolved to link my blog to my Facebook page so that the blog is recognized by Facebook.
Linking a blog to a Facebook page is supposed to be child's play. However, due to the avalanche of information on the internet concerning it, I had a difficult time locating where on Facebook I had to click to link my blog to my Facebook page.
After two or three days of fruitless efforts, I finally landed on a Facebook page that allowed me to verify my blog. And according to Facebook, I had to wait for 72 hours for the verification process to be completed.
During those 72 hours of waiting, I kept praying that verifying my blog on Facebook would link my blog to my Facebook page. God answered my prayers because upon completion of the verification process, Facebook recognized my blog and linked it to my Facebook page. I was really elated by that verification result.
And then about four weeks ago, I found out Maria Popova's blog pages generate a thumbnail on Twitter while mine didn't. Again never one to be left behind, I googled for a solution on how to have a thumbnail of my blog pages shown on Twitter.
From my Google search results, I learnt that generating a thumbnail of a blog on Twitter required some extra code. So, in addition to praying, I googled for a code that would work while wondering why Twitter made it so hard to generate a thumbnail on its networking site.
Because none of the code I got from Google search results worked, I tried getting help from Codingforum.net, an internet forum where I have often turned for assistance since I started developing websites in 2012. But alas! The replies I received from the forum didn't help me either.
I therefore took matters into my own hands and tried creating the required code myself using the computer-programming skills I acquired at Starehe Institute 17 years ago. And hooray! My code eventually worked, something that exhilarated me.
Several days after solving the Twitter hitch, I was fiddling with my blog's social media sharing icons when I discovered the LinkedIn icon was not successfully sharing my blog's stories and videos pages on LinkedIn when clicked. Maria Popova's LinkedIn sharing icon was working well, which made me wonder what the heck was wrong with mine. And that began another stressing experience.
As I always do when confronted with problems, I prayed about my predicament while trying to locate where the problem with my LinkedIn sharing code could be. Try as I might, I still couldn't solve the glitch. So I sought help from Codingforum.net. This time, the replies I got from the forum are what helped me solve the glitch. And I believe my prayers also aided me.
Those challenging experiences I have had with my blog have confirmed to me that God is attentive to our prayers if we walk in His ways. They have also reminded me that God is always with us, even in our trials when He seems afar. Let us therefore entrust our lives and our future to Him for He cares for us. Ciao!
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed reading the above story on how God is present in our trials, you might also enjoy another one on "When Bad Things Happen" which I wrote a few years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.
Sharing is CaringLike this story? Then share it on:
A Marriage That Lasts
A True Story
on Aug 20, 2023
A writer of some of the verses in the biblical book of Proverbs asked God to give him neither poverty nor riches. He just wanted enough money to meet his needs because he feared poverty might make him steal, thus dishonoring God, while riches would make him forget God.
Unlike that writer, I don't think I can ever forget God if I became rich. It's just my nature to seek God in all that I do. So what I have asked God, among other things, is a car that will never break down and a marriage that will last "till death do us part". For now, let me focus on the marriage I'd like to have.
When I was growing up, I saw both of my parents live in harmony with one another. Never at any one moment did I see them argue with each other. So it never occurred to me that married couples often disagree with one another. It's not until recent years that I have learnt many marriages are rocked by conflicts which often lead to separation and divorce.
Just last week, I came across in the "Nation" newspaper a story of a couple that lived in disharmony for quite a number of years. The couple's inability to get along with each other affected their children but they didn't realize it until it was too late.
One day, one of the couple's sons prepared a delicious meal for them. The couple feasted on the meal. After they were done eating, the husband went outside, only to find the son hanging on a tree; he had committed suicide. And the reason he took his life was the couple's constant bickering that he could no longer withstand. What a sad story with a tragic end!
It's such kind of stories that have made me learn that many marriages are rocked by conflicts and disagreements. Even the so-called "successful" people have unsuccessful marriages. I know of some rich and famous couples whose marriages have failed. And I surmise you can also name some, can't you?
Honestly, even though my parents didn't bring us up in a lovely home, they did better at getting along with each other than some of the rich and famous couples whose marriages have ended in divorce. For that reason, my parents are my marriage role models, modest though they are.
My other marriage role models are Mr. Gikonyo and his wife. Mr. Gikonyo is a distant neighbour of ours who I once joked to Dad that one can never have a dull moment in his presence because he can really talk, especially when drunk. Sometimes when I see Mr. Gikonyo, I get reminded of Andy Capp, a cartoon character who loves drinking.
About two months ago, Mr. Gikonyo and his wife paid us a visit at home. They looked as old as the hills, and I noted Mrs. Gikonyo was walking in a stooped gait. But what impressed me about Mrs. Gikonyo was that she could still remember my name despite her advanced years. She is such a nice, humble lady.
Seeing Mr. and Mrs. Gikonyo still together in their old age made me wish to have a marriage similar to theirs: sticking together come what may. Like them, I'd wish my marriage to be ended only by death.
That's why I have resolved to be extra careful on the kind of woman I will pick as my wife. I'd like her to be a lady of noble character, the kind that the Bible talks about in Proverbs 31. Someone who is smart, funny and vivacious.
Because I also want to have the same traits I want in my future wife, I am working hard at being the kind of man every decent woman would want in a husband: kind, diligent, humorous and forgiving. Being diligent has not been an easy virtue for me to acquire but I am getting better at it.
Once we get married, I'd like our union to be characterized by fun moments and constant forgiveness. I want us to make each other laugh everyday, to confide in one another and to support each other in our endeavors. Above all, I want our love for each other to grow with each passing year. That's my marriage vision. What's yours, my beloved reader?
RECOMMENDATION: If you've enjoyed reading the above story on having a marriage that lasts, you might also enjoy another one on "Having a Successful Marriage" which I wrote a few years ago. Just click on that link in blue to dive straight into the story.