Yesterday my payment on an online shopping portal ‘failed’ after I had received and entered the authorisation code from my bank. I got the error message with the typical Sri Lankan grammar, ‘Failure… contact Paycorp?”. What’s Paycorp? How do I contact them? Well, I had no idea! Perhaps that’s why the portal had a question mark following their ‘instruction’! I was clueless. It also gave an option to ‘try again’ so I did. Identical results. Usually when an online portal doesn’t support the ‘verified by visa’ verification software, my debit card won’t be accepted which I learnt after having tried to renew my New Zealand passport online several years ago. The bank would then notify me in such instances. Totally bewildered and confused, I called my bank to see what the problem was. They insisted that the transaction didn’t even show up on their system and no payment was deducted. Phew!
As my next step in discovering what is going on or what I’m supposed to do – I naturally called the helpline on the website, explained the situation and also asked them to clarify whether their portal was still supported by Verified by Visa. The person who answered the phone told me he would get back to me after talking to the finance department. Yes, surprisingly he did call back but spewed out the possible reasons for the failure being ‘insufficient balance on my card’ or ‘my card must be expired’. I couldn’t help roll my eyes on their ‘smart’ response. My other question wasn’t answered and he put the phone down. Typical Sri Lankan customer service!
A little while later I saw the ‘chat’ line on the shopping portal. Determined to know what really was going on, wanting to know what PayCorp was and wanting my question regarding Verified by Visa answered, I left a message on the chat line. A girl responds, hold on a moment Mam, we will get back to you soon after talking to the IT department. A little while later she had left the chat! An hour later, I left yet another message and a guy answered this time. He told me that he would talk to the IT department. Thank God that this guy at least had some common sense. He did get back to me pretty promptly I must say and said that the problem was on their end, that their Mastercard gateway was down and it would take another hour to get fixed. Once again I asked about the Verified by Visa and also reminded him that my debit card was a Visa Card and whether there was an issue in the Visa card gateway too. He insisted that all payment gateways were down and finally answered my question re Verified by Visa affirmatively. (Yes, I was verified by visa’ed out yesterday!!)).
Oh yes, did I tell you that I was trying to purchase something from them – that they would get the sales from it? Anyway I did try a few hours later as I had promised to make this purchase for someone else – otherwise I seriously would have told them to fly a kite especially given that I was a regular customer with them! Yippeee it finally did go through.. What a SAGA to say the least!
As believers we aren’t that different. We are quick to sound ‘smart’ and say something that isn’t the least bit fitting or correct. We respond with our analytical minds and within our limited human wisdom. The human body consists of body, soul and spirit where the soul consists of the mind, emotions and will. When one part is affected, it often affects the other parts too. We see that clearly in Jesus’ response to what lay ahead of Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was so much in anguish that He was pacing up and down, His sweat (sweat that would normally trickle) began to pour out like blood (flow), and angels had to come and strengthen Him.
On the other hand, some afflictions and situations are caused by the evil principalities and powers. Different causes need different approaches.. For example, some sicknesses need simple prayer with faith to leave the body instantly. Some would need just a little addition to the diet – foods that help that particular illness or discomfort. Yet some sicknesses are a means of God telling us that we are overdoing it and we need to take time to rest… Some sicknesses require letting go of bitterness or hurts or dealing with negative emotions. Some require a change of our lifestyle as our modern ways are not the way God intended and thus could conflict with the way He created us. Some sicknesses require a major spiritual warfare of intercession and/or intensive healing and deliverance. Then there are some sicknesses / afflictions that God allows to linger on for a time and a season for us to understand and know His grace… Paul’s writing will touch home for those in this situation:
But HE (God) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9
Before we speak may we be humble to turn to God’s Wisdom to discern the source of the situation, to discern His plan in the scenario and to discern the solution. Of course He may not reveal it all to us let alone any of it to us at any particular given time as that too will be in context of His purpose and plan.
May we be humble to be able to simply say “I do not know” instead of sounding smart or trying to tap into the wrong ‘department’ and come up with foolish replies like the first customer service representative. May we not say, ‘hold on for JUST A MOMENT” mam, sounding like we care and just leaving the situation never to come back to it again.
May we be a people who would be able to say…
The Sovereign Lord has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed – Isaiah 50:4
May we not be a people who use God’s name in vain and add to the weariness.. let alone who tear down instead of build up.
May we be Ambassadors of Christ representing Him and drawing people closer to HIM!