90: A Flash of Faith

90: A Flash of Faith

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: Hope & Miracles

A Flash of Faith

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.

~Elbert Hubbard

Oh no! This couldn’t be happening! In an instant, my routine day took a disastrous turn! I sat down in my home office to work, slipped the little flash drive into my computer and clicked to open it. The light on the front blinked on for a second and went out. I clicked a second, third, and then a fourth time . . . nothing but a blink and then darkness! I pulled out the flash drive and inserted it into a different USB port and clicked . . . then sat up straighter, now fully awake. Why wasn’t the flash drive opening so I could access the data? My whole life was on that flash drive! I took it out and looked at it carefully. The center part that fit into the USB port was loose, and a wire stuck out on the side! I taped around the entire apparatus and inserted it again. The light came on for a couple of seconds and then went out!

In retrospect I realize it was crazy to put everything on that flash drive. I took it back and forth to work, always in too big of a rush to run back-ups.

Sometimes we take technology for granted, and I was scrambling to remember exactly what was on that small bit of metal and plastic —work logs, ideas, and fundraising projects. I had placed all my personal data on that drive including Christmas lists, family photos, and recipes. It held all my personal business documents, writing notes, and speeches. All lost! I felt angry and stupid! Why had I put everything on that small, three-inch drive that wasn’t even as big as my finger! It was just so convenient to always have my life right there in the pocket of my purse! But now what?

I took the flash drive into three major computer stores to see if they could extract the data. The light would come on for a second or two and then go out just like it had for me. A clerk at the last store gave me a pamphlet for a data recovery company.

I rushed home to call, and the man who answered was confident. “Just mail it to us. We’ll take the case apart, solder the wires, and recover your data.”

I felt myself relax at that good news and asked, “About how much will that cost?”

“Oh,” he replied, “between $1,000 and $2,700.”

I felt my heart sink. There was no way I could afford that! Life went on but every time I started to type something, I realized what I needed was on that ruined flash drive. I had to re-create each document, slowing down every project I worked on.

About a month later I was downloading flash drives of photos onto my computer. (Yes, I was faithfully backing up everything by then.) When I finished, I put the drives into the tray on my desk and noticed my useless flash drive there. I started to toss it into the trash to be rid of the daily reminder of my frustrating failure, but something made me pause.

Realizing that I hadn’t asked God to help me, I knelt down with the flash drive in my hand and prayed. I told God that I knew I had been wrong to place my faith in that piece of technology instead of in Him. I had put my trust in something I thought would always be there and it failed me as the things of this world will.

“Lord, from now on I will place my life in Your hands and never take any of my blessings for granted.” I got up from my knees and plugged the flash drive into my computer with a hopeful heart. Wait! Was the light on the flash drive on? I couldn’t believe it! Was it possible?

My hands were shaking as I opened the drive to view the files. They were all there! I quickly copied everything into my computer. Once the download completed, the light on the flash drive went out, and nothing I could do would make it come on again! Holding my breath, I checked my hard drive to see what transferred.

Remarkably, everything was there! All the data was perfectly useable! Tears ran down my face. God had extended me grace and a real miracle! I framed that little flash drive, and I keep it on my desk as a reminder to place my trust in God and His power to restore, to never give up hope, and to always believe in miracles.

~Judee Stapp

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