When I Lost My Computer–I Felt Amputated!

Apple 13" MacBook Pro

Lost, Misplaced, or Stolen?

On a busy day last week, I misplaced my laptop from my car. Had it been  stolen? I had parked close to where the tire people could retrieve it to replace my 4 worn tires with a set of new Premium tires. Then I drove to a supermarket where I left my car for a half-hour or so. Finally, I drove to my counseling clinic where I was to meet with clients that evening. Because another counselor was already using the room I was assigned for the next hour, I brought my materials with me into the clinic, but set them down in another room. When that other counselor ended his session, Frank and I transported my stuff to the new room.  But later, when I lost my computer, I felt amputated!

I Lost My Computer

That evening at home, upon emptying my car of my Daytimer, Professional case, lunch box, and water thermos, I found…no computer! Bought in 2018, it contained everything valuable to me and my ministry. Materials for the Sunday school classes I’ve taught, including outlines, handouts, and slides. Sermons. Workshop presentations. In addition, the Login to my blog: the UN and PW, no longer worked.

Also, all of my most recent personal Bible study notes, 23 single-spaced pages: “Christian Morality,” on the Sermon on the Mount, Matthew 5-7. And, most recently, accumulation of 17 pages of detailed notes on II Corinthians 5:11-21, on what “We Are Christ’s Ambassadors” means. Finally, I couldn’t print my spreadsheet containing my 2019 business expenses and income from speaking and selling my book. My tax information, too? All those hours I had put in entering and totaling–gone!

I Felt Amputated!

I had lost all my work, all my backlog of preparations, all my resources. “Well, Lord, it’s now just You and me!” I could count on nothing but Him to revive my memory of my previous work, or to give me something new to share. Where was my computer? Had I left it at the office? The next morning I returned to the clinic where I do volunteer counseling (https://goodsamraitanministries.org) to check the room I had used–no computer. I told a couple of people to be on the lookout.especially Rick, a colleague who spends more time around the office that I do.

Another friend, Frank, led me in believing prayer that, if it had been stolen, the thieves would be shamed into returning it promptly. On Frank’s advice, I retraced my steps and began asking questions. First, I went to the tire place, then to the supermarket to report it lost–or had it been stolen? That afternoon I called the police to report it stolen. I theorized what could have happened: taken from my inadvertently-left-unlocked car at the tire place, at the supermarket, or maybe the parking lot of the clinic. But that computer contained…years of work.


Did I slip up locking my car after a stop? How could I have been so stupid, or, more likely, careless? That still felt stupid! I checked Craig’s List to see if  my computer showed up. One of the officers said, if I found it there, a police officer would accompany me to buy it and I could show proof it had been stolen. I had the original bill of sale ($2100, https://apple.com). I explored with he insurance broker whether or not I should file a claim.

Then my wife helped me problem-solve: I could still access my Blog through the family computer, which I had bookmarked. I began to feel less frustrated. But my stress over missing my computer had led to losing sleep. I wakened between 4 and 5:00 a.m. Then (of course?) I began to feel a little soreness on the back of my tongue–and began sneezing. Now I was getting sick. I had missed my computer on Monday evening, talked to my colleagues at my counseling clinic on Tuesday morning, and  investigated the room I had used the previous night. Tuesday afternoon I reported the missing computer to the police and called my insurance company. Wednesday I felt sick and stayed in bed. But on Thursday morning, my wife fielded a call from Rick, my colleague at the clinic.

An Unexpected Call

“Hey, Gordon,” he said, “I was vacuuming your room and found your computer wedged beside the baseboard,” he said. “I opened the case and found your name: Gordon Grose.” I had a psychology manual in my case, with my name on it. Then I began the pleasurable tasks of feeling better physically (I had already begun taking our home herbal anti-viral remedies), retrieving my computer, and returning to the tasks which my computer, once lost, now found, enables.

Lessons From Losing My Computer

I learned what it feels like to lose my right arm, to feel amputated, cut off from all my accumulated resources, and to be totally dependent on the Lord for every future preparation. In reality, we need to learn that lesson over and over. With whatever tools we use to create, we must always rely on the Lord’s leading for the next task. We dare not ever rely on our resources or our selves to serve Him. The Lord had graciously returned my resources, but He also taught me my need to more fully depend on Him. Through Frank, he taught me the value of believing prayer.

What have you lost? Is it a piece of technology? your cell phone? or a part of your life? or a relationship? Whatever it is, you can, like me, tell Him, “Okay, Lord, It’s you and me. I need to depend on You fully.” Recalling that amputated feeling helps me remember anew what depending on God means. What deep need will you unload on Him?

About Grose

Gordon Grose loves most to write, speak, and preach on the message of hope from the book of Job. Using drama, video, and PowerPoint, he has preached and presented this message of hope to churches around the country. Grose pastored three congregations 25 years, then served 12 years as a pastoral counselor in a Portland, Oregon counseling clinic. He now serves with Good Samaritan Counseling Services, Beaverton, OR. A graduate of Wheaton College (IL), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, Brandeis University, and Boston University, he comes from a rich and varied background in theological and counseling training. In 2015, Gordon published Tragedy Transformed: How Job's Recovery Can Provide Hope For Yours, a book about turning to Job for hope after tragedy. If you have experienced life challenges or personal tragedy, visit his Transforming Tragedy (gordongrose.com) blog to learn more. TragedyTransformed.com provides a sample of Gordon's speaking as well as an opportunity to purchase copies of his book.
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