If you have ever been hacked, you know it’s frustrating. Some teenage kid with way too much time on his hands sitting in front of a computer for hours drinking Red Bull decides to mess with your life, and you want to scream.
I recently went to my website (this one), and all I found was a blank page. When I tried to reaccess it through the admin side, I got a very unhelpful error message and code. Seriously, who knows what “HTTP 500 Internal Server Error” means anyway?
Five phone calls and two days later, GoDaddy finally tells me, “You’ve been hacked and have malware.”
“What? Why would anyone hack my website? I’m a nobody from the backside of nowhere!”
“It’s probably some kid in Cincinnati who found a vulnerability in one of your WordPress plugins.”
Finally, after installing some anti-malware-try-to-hack-me-now-you-nerdy-pimple-faced-kid software and then doing a website reset, all is well. But this frustrating experience got me thinking and taught me some lessons.
In fact, I realized getting hacked has an upside.
First lesson: Nothing is fully protected or safe on this side of eternity.
One of the realities I’ve learned in my sixty-plus years is that things break. Malfunctions happen. Bugs bug us, and destructive worms wiggle their way into our computers, our hearts, and our lives.
When that happens, perhaps the best we can do is to take a deep breath and whatever steps are necessary to address the problem. Getting angry and yelling at your computer doesn’t help. (I know. I tried.)
An adjustment to your attitude is an excellent place to start when life goes sideways.
Second lesson: A malicious attack is a wakeup call.
Why wasn’t I prepared? Hackers hack. Malware is everywhere. This assault on my website wasn’t the end of the world, but it reminded me to be better armed and equipped. I wondered What else in my life is vulnerable and exposed to attack?
Peter once wrote, “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8, NIV).
Fact one: You’re in a battle, and the enemy wants to destroy you.
Fact two: You must be prepared if you are to survive, let alone thrive. Are you ready for the next attack? Because it is coming.
Final lesson: You might need some help from an expert to get things right in your life.
You and I were never meant to be isolated from others. There are way too many challenges and far too many valleys of despair to face life alone.
When my website blew up, I called a professional, and as things unfolded, one expert referred me to another.
No one knows everything about everything. No one. Maybe you’re a computer geek, and you don’t need GoDaddy. Good for you. But I bet when you’re deathly ill you go to the doc. We all need help from time to time to fix what’s wrong.
If you’re serious about getting in shape, you see a trainer.
If you’re stumped by IRS rules and regulations, you hire a CPA.
If you’re committed to spiritual growth, you get equipped by a godly spiritual leader.
May I suggest you need help too? When something gets hacked or breaks in your life, don’t hide. Don’t run from others. Don’t be proud. Don’t dig your heels in and reject support. Embrace it.
It’s okay not to be okay, but it’s wise to get support. God never meant for you to do life alone.
So, the next time you get hacked, take a moment and consider these lessons and maybe a few of your own.
If you look, you might find an upside to the unexpected hack.
9 Two are better than one because a good return comes when two work together.
10 If one of them falls, the other can help him up.
But who will help the pitiful person who falls down alone?
12 And if one person is vulnerable to attack, two can drive the attacker away.
As the saying goes, “A rope made of three strands is not quickly broken.”
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10,12 (VOICE)