How to Protect Your Life’s Work

The pit of my stomach reminded me of my loss. How could this have happened? I replayed the scenario chiding myself for not being stronger. I’d told the tech at Apple all of my talks, articles, manuscripts, records, and much more were on my computer. “Don’t wipe it clean unless you know my backup has them.”

“You’re fine,” he said barely looking at the back-up.

“You can see the files?” I pressed. “Years ago a backup said it had my computer backed up and didn’t.”

“It says you’re backed up. You’ll have your files back in two hours,” he said.

Ten techs and as many days later, no one has been able to retrieve my files. The tech hearing my saga at an outside computer company pointed to a poster that reminded everyone to create a safety net with extra backup. Where had this been when I’d talked with technical support before my computer was scrubbed?

Who wants their work to count for nothing? No one. Even picnic ants ruining the birthday cake you baked from scratch feels like a senseless waste.

The Bible knows how painful loss is and shows us how to protect our work from being lost.

But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames” (1 Cor. 3:13-15 NLT).

How we live determines whether our work will survive or go up in smoke. All true believers will be saved at the final judgment, but we can lose everything else if we ignore God’s warning.

Jesus tells us how to protect our work. “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing” (Jn. 6:63 NASB).

It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. (Jn. 6:63) Share on X

Each day we choose whether to trust our human strategies or to rely on the Holy Spirit. Since self-effort ends in ashes and what is done in the Holy Spirit lasts forever and bring rewards, let’s look at how to walk in the Spirit.

The Spirit Gives Life

  • Ask the Holy Spirit to search you and point out any area that displeases Him.
  • Agree with Him and thank Him for His forgiveness (1 Jn. 1:9).
  • Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you, in other words, to control your thoughts, motives, and actions (Ephes. 5:18).
  • Practice moment by moment reliance on Him.

I can’t rewind time and demand the “genius” at Apple’s Genius bar test my backup device before he erased my hard drive. But I can draw comfort from knowing that any work done in faith will last throughout eternity—even if it is lost on earth.

Question: What is something you’ve lost you wish you could retrieve?

Click here to comment.

To receive our weekly blogs by email, subscribe here.


Debbie Wilson

Prayers and Thanks

Thanks to those who’ve prayed for my computer. I’m still asking God to restore the important things that were lost. If He says “No,” He’ll work this together for good. But until I know the answer, thank you for your prayers.

“Even If” by MercyMe seemed appropriate.

Update: I should get my computer back today (15th). Thanks for your prayers. The Lord heard. It looks like what was important to me was saved!


Sometimes I link up with these great sites:

#Recharge Wednesday, #Writer’s Wednesday #HeartEncouragement, #TuneinThursaday, #Dance with Jesus, #Grace and Truth, #Fresh Market Friday,

Photo by on Unsplash

More From This Category

Why Hardship May Show God’s Love for You

Why Hardship May Show God’s Love for You

Years ago, a book by a zookeeper told how mama giraffes knock the feet out from under their newborn babies when they are learning to stand. That sounds like a cruel “Welcome to the world.” However, the opposite is true. In the world of lions and tigers, a baby...

read more



  1. Ann Musico

    Debbie I can so relate and I am so sorry your lost all that hard work but your analogy and comparing it to what will last for eternity is so perfect. You have always blessed me and made me think more deeply and I know that work will last for eternity.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, thank you. I got a call from the computer place this morning to come by. I just returned. They were able to recover my documents! Praise God. Because the applications were lost, everything is in a different format. But the info is there! They’re keeping the computer one more night. JOY, JOY

  2. Kim

    Oh Debbie- How awful. Obviously Satan knows your words have power.

  3. Kim

    Just read your last comment that your work
    was retrieved! Hallelujah! We all know Satan will never prevail!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Amen! Thank you, Kim!

  4. Beth, Debbie! How horrible! Did this happen recently? There’s something just so devastating about losing all of that content. I get that and have lost some things but not to the extent that you did! But when I did, boy, was I a mess!!

    I’m grateful though that you’ve been able to turn this into an inflection point and inspire the rest of us to trust in God and not in man as well. Praying that you are still able to retrieve some of that content somehow!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Beth, I got my computer back yesterday. A young tech worked on my backup until he was able to manually transfer my files over one at a time! The relief is amazing! Thanks for your prayers and support! Glory to God!

  5. Kathleen

    I’ve lost my computer files on more than one occasion. You think I’d learn to back things up but I just put it off and put it off till it’s too late. So sorry you lost your work.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Kathleen, I’m thankful to say I got it back yesterday. Those 10 days it looked lost forever taught me a lot. Don’t trust one backup. I thank God for the persistent young man who didn’t give up.

  6. Jennifer

    Hi Debbie, while the Bible says for us to lay our treasures up in heaven where rust, moth or thief doesn’t destroy, I believe the Lord gives us joy for things here too; like things we’ve spent so many hours working on; and I think it’s wonderful He has restored some of your files on your computer for you; I believe as long as we are putting God first, in everything, it is ok to love ‘other’ things; this just shows too how God is concerned about our feelings.
    I found your post at Heart Encouragement link up.
    God bless you

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Jennifer. Just our our children’s desires matter to us because they matter to us, I believe God cares about those things too. Blessings to you.

  7. Betsy de Cruz

    What a scare you had, Debbie! I can’t imagine. But it sounds like you got most of it back? Yes, this is a good reminder to store up for ourselves treasure in heaven.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Betsy, it was quite a scare. God uses those moments to speak clearly. Thanks for visiting.

  8. Lisa notes

    Oh, this made my heart sink reading it! I’m so glad to see your update that you are getting back most of your important things. It’s a reminder to me to back up what matters. And to not stress out over the possibility of losing things that don’t matter. Because in the end, most of this stuff won’t matter. Blessings to you, Debbie.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Great lesson, Lisa. And I am so thankful to have my computer working with my data back!!

  9. Sharon Hazel

    This is so true – there is a great Thomas Merton quote, about not focusing on ‘results’ that actually the most important results may be the relationships that we develop on our journey! Thank you Debbie, much to reflect on from this…

    • Debbie Wilson

      Thank you, Sharon. The Merton quote sounds wonderful!

  10. Ann J Musico

    I can definitely relate to your computer story as I had the same thing happen to me years ago. I also had someone who was able to retrieve the most important files and I also learned an important lesson. The connection to the spiritual is unmistakable. Wonderfully done Debbie.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, it’s a painful experience! So glad your important files were retrieved also.

Refreshing Faith Blog

Pin It on Pinterest