god’s kindness demonstrated through a mac pro

This post is a little bit different than normal – I just want to brag on God specifically for an act of kindness He showed towards my family and me recently.

The story begins this past winter when my Mac Book Pro unexpectedly died on me. It was no longer covered by warrantee and so I suddenly found myself without a computer. The good news in this is that I had religiously backed up the files on my Mac Book Pro using Apple’s Time Machine program, which backs up all your files, programs, and settings so that if you ever need to restore your data on another computer and want the exact same programs, configuration, etc. on it as your old one, you can do it with the click of a button. The bad news is that this only works on another Mac and I didn’t have another one. So I had to get by using my work laptop (with Windows XP) and hoping to find a good deal on a Mac somewhere down the line, when I had the money to get one.

Fast forward ahead to July of this year. A high school friend of mine from NJ was selling a Mac Pro (the desktop version of the computer, not a Mac Book Pro, which is the notebook/laptop version of the computer. This detail becomes important later on in the story.) which he no longer needed because he was upgrading to a newer model. It was a good deal and I now had the money to purchase it; so I bought it from him and received it towards the end of the month.

When I received it, I excitedly got out my backup hard drive (which had all my files on it – pictures, home videos, movies, music, important documents, etc.) and told my new Mac to restore itself from my backup drive. There was only one problem (well, actually two problems, but they combined to cause one big problem): Time Machine only works if you are restoring it to the same type of computer (which, in this case, would have needed to be a Mac Book Pro, not a Mac Pro) with the same operating system (which also was not the same between the two computers).

So what happened? It took about 2 hours restoring everything and then took me to the login screen. I tried logging in to use my new computer and… no luck. For some reason it wouldn’t take the password. I went to google and found that this is a common problem and went through a few steps to try to correct the problem, only when I did this and restarted my computer, it booted up and then froze. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get it to work. The operating system had crashed. Now I was stuck.

I needed to take it to the Apple Store for them to fix it, but the computer is really big (probably 50-75 lbs) and hard to lug into the mall, and this was now a week before my daughter’s birthday party and we were frantically working around the clock on our home to get it ready for the big event. So getting it fixed became a non-priority.

Then came the plot twist that none of us saw coming – the day before my daughter’s birthday party, our house was broken into. The robbers stole a handful of consumer electronics, most notably the backup hard drive that had all my files stored on it. However, there was one consumer electronics item that incredibly they didn’t steal – the Mac Pro.

This wasn’t merely an oversight on their part – the computer was located in the room from which they stole the most stuff (including the infamous backup drive, which was actually connected to the computer). So I can only logically conclude that they ignored the computer because it was simply too big. They didn’t steal anything that weighed more than 10 lbs and apparently considered something that size to be too big of a risk.

So now the entirety of my library of digital information/media was on the hard drive in a Mac Pro that had a broken operating system. Not good. In fact, I had no assurance that my files had even made it on the hard drive because I had never been able to look at them on the computer, since it was broken.

But immediately after my daughter’s party, we went on vacation. Then almost right after vacation I went on a business trip that took me through the end of August. Then when I returned, I spent the next 2 weeks recovering and working on a host of other projects that built up during the lost month of August. Then this past week I decided it was time to work on the computer.

I had never attempted to save files from the hard drive of a computer that wasn’t working; so this was new ground for me. Fortunately, a friend had a cable that allowed me to connect the hard drive to another computer to transfer files off of it. So I tried to connect it to my Windows XP work computer, and it didn’t work because of the whole incompatibility thing between Mac and Windows. However, from what I could see, it didn’t appear there were any files on the hard drive, which made me extremely nervous.

However, I had a few friends with Macs and one of them let me view the hard drive using his computer. To my relief, everything appeared to be on it! However, I had to transfer all the files onto a new backup drive that I had purchased, which wasn’t particularly easy and I wasn’t sure it would go ok. But by God’s grace (and with some help from another friend) I was able to copy over everything that was important.

Now, I had to get the computer fixed and copy everything from the backup drive back to the Mac Pro. I took it to the Apple Store (yes, more than a few people at the mall laughed and/or pointed as they saw me walk in with such a huge machine), they fixed it, and showed me what I needed to do to move my files over. There were no problems – to my knowledge all of the files remained safe and fully workable, despite being moved back and forth on multiple hard drives, including a hard drive that was on a computer that wouldn’t work. Tonight, I completed the transfer of the files and everything from my old computer is now on my new computer. I am missing nothing, even though I was on the edge of the cliff for losing it all.

So that’s the story. Now here’s the breakdown of God’s kindness that I see demonstrated throughout this ordeal:

  1. He helped me see the importance of backing up everything from my Mac Book Pro onto my backup hard drive.
  2. He orchestrated the events that would lead to my friend selling his computer and me purchasing it from him less than two weeks before we were broken into.
  3. He led me to attempt to restore the data from my backup hard drive onto the Mac Pro days before we were broken into, even though in hindsight, we were so busy that it didn’t really make much sense that I took the time to do that.
  4. He spared the files on the hard drive of the Mac Pro, even though they very well could have been corrupted after the computer essentially crashed.
  5. He caused the criminals to avoid stealing the Mac Pro, even though it was more valuable than all of the other items that they stole from us, combined.
  6. He gave me several friends that were able to help me whenever I ran into a roadblock with saving the files on the hard drive.
  7. He allowed the data to be transferred from the Mac Pro, onto an external hard drive, and then back to the Mac Pro without any significant issues and without any data being lost.

There’s a lot more I could mention here, like the fact that our safety deposit box, which has all of our major legal documents in it, was untouched even though I had left it out in the open in the very place where they stole the most stuff from us (and had left it unlocked!), or the fact that most of the stuff they stole was garbage (like old computers that didn’t work anymore, including the infamous Mac Book Pro).

Now there are times when things don’t go the way we want them to, and God deserves the glory for those times because He is sovereign, good, and all-knowing and we can’t fathom His ways. But in this case, things did go my way. And I want to give God the glory for that. His kindness didn’t just end at the cross, although that was the quintessence of it. His kindness extends to us in small things that the God of the universe really shouldn’t care much about. But He does. To Him be the glory.

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