“The wicked have drawn the sword and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, to slay those who are of upright conduct.”
Surfing the Web for information has enormous benefits on a variety of levels, from hunting for medical facts to searching for the cheapest price on a desired product. Nothing can match the convenience of shopping from home or researching at the click of a finger. Nothing can compare until something goes wrong, and the same technology on which you depend, fails to respond adequately. Such is the case with broken Internet links.
Apparently, there is even a term for these malfunctions – Link rot. What a hilarious term! It sounds like a disease. Link rot typically occurs because a website is defunct and the link no longer works; hence, it is a dead link. Link rot primarily presents as a 404 error, an indication that the web page could not be found. Most online users have discovered these error pages before, some more often than they would like. They have experienced Link rot firsthand! The phrase may be humorous but when trying to find a website and discover instead that the link is broken (or rotten, shall we say?), it is not a laughing matter. It is annoying.
Website glitches are bothersome but are just examples of those little foxes that we can allow to steal our peace. Satan, although not necessarily behind broken online links, has a sinister, ongoing plan to disrupt our lives. He wants to disrupt our connection with God – permanently, and to break us apart -completely. The devil wants our lives to resemble a broken link.
The Psalmist had his fair share of demonic-driven attempts to break him. David was God’s pick as king yet confronted resistance from his siblings and attacks against his life from Saul. Since the True King was of David’s lineage, Satan waged all out war against him from the moment of his royal decree. The enemy drew the sword and bent the bow to slay one such as David. Though not successful, Satan wanted to break this kingly line and to destroy him in the process.
None of us will ever be David, the only person God called a man after His own heart. God does love us as much, but there will never be anyone quite like the Psalmist. Besides God’s love, we share in common with David the fact that Satan wants us broken equally as much. We also share in David’s emotions, despite which God’s opinion of him remained unaltered. As such, since he was that man after God’s heart, David was a person who had a heart. The dreadful experiences he faced were not pleasant, and he experienced the full range of human emotions possible. In David, then, we see ourselves whenever we come under attack by our common foe. We can comfort ourselves knowing that, just as for David, God understands our hurts as we struggle against an enemy who wants us broken.
At times in our lives, Satan succeeds by temporarily breaking us. Although I have never had my life threatened, I have nonetheless experienced struggles, hurts, turmoil and devastation to the brink of breaking my spirit and crushing my hope. It is during those dark moments that Satan has tried to convince me that God does not care and to embrace his lies instead. He has tried to break off my connection with the Lord much like when an orchid stem snaps, severing all nourishment and hope of survival. Unlike David, I have not encountered life-threatening circumstances, but very much like him have had the Devil attempt to break apart my lifeline to God and to destroy His purposes for my life.
My broken orchid stem
During his ordeal, Job reached that place of brokenness. God knew that Job was a man with faith and trusted him enough to allow Satan to prove it. At the end of his testing, Job came forth just as God had predicted, but along the way bottomed out emotionally. He reached periods of succumbing temporarily to the enemy’s plans to break his connection with God:
“My days are past, my purposes are broken off, even the thoughts of my heart.”
Though he did periodically sink emotionally, Job came through his fiery trials stronger than before. God turned it all around for good.
Believers have that same promise of good. Bottom line? The Devil is not going to win. He does buffet us, beset us, tempt us and annoy us. He attacks us, distracts us, alarms us and tries very hard to destroy us. However, he will never fully succeed in breaking our link to Jesus. We are ‘struck down‘ but never destroyed. Christ made sure of that by His victory over Satan. In the same passage above in Psalm 37, David offers these encouraging words about our enemy’s predicted end:
“Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity. For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb….For evildoers shall be cut off…”
Psalm 37:1, 2, 9
Orchids with unbroken beauty
Broken online links do severe one’s ability to access a webpage. Such sites are no longer available, and their connections are Link rotting dead! Satan is convinced that he can break our link to God and destroy His plans for our lives. He is only deceiving himself by believing this. His end is certain. Like dead links rot in cyberspace, the Devil will some day rot somewhere, too! He will be the one cut off, not us. Our connection cannot be broken. We instead flourish like a beautiful orchid flower, which stays grafted to a life-giving stem. Grafted to a King, ours is a link that will never be broken.