20 Jul He will Give you a Helper
In my other life, I’m what one might call a ‘budding entrepreneur’ – though, between you and me, it might just be a tad late in the day for me to be called a budding anything. So I’m thinking I might as well just go ahead and declare myself a Magnate-in-Waiting, by faith.
Anyhow, in the course of my work recently, I came to realize that there’s a certain process on one of my websites that needs urgent improvement.
So I dash online, find a company somewhere in Europe that can do the needful, and send them a quick email. They’re fast and professional in their response, but alas, they first need me to develop a certain software, they say, and promptly send me a ‘developer’s pack’.
Early the next morning, I pour myself a cup of inspiration, sit at my desk and attempt to read through the “pack”. But, though I boast a modest background in IT, I’m very far from what anyone might call a software developer, so it’s all way beyond my comprehension and might as well be ancient Greek. I can’t tell what exactly needs to be done, in terms of coding, or how long it would take. Thusly, how much the process should cost is a complete mystery to me.
Nevertheless, I need it done quickly, so I begin to consider who I might hire for this job. From the pack, I select a key phrase that I feel best describes what I need and, armed with it, begin my search. I don’t know anyone who can do such coding locally for me, so I head online to a well-known freelance market-place, drop the phrase in their search box and click “find”.
But to my complete surprise, in a market teeming with thousands of skilled IT professionals, very few names show up on my screen. Less than fifty, I would say, whose profiles seem to fit my need. I try a few more key words and phrases, but they bring up the same results. I guess this is it.
I begin to scan the profiles one by one, but as I do, I realize that even with my trusty phrases, I still have no idea who to choose. All the profiles have strange new words and tech terms I have never heard in my life. I need help.
“Holy Spirit, please show me who to pick,” I pray.
I open the first profile tentatively. A crisp photo at the top reveals a bespectacled man dressed in a three-piece suit, a thickly-knotted tie with large black and white stripes, and a techy attempt at a smile. His attire strikes me as kind of odd – I’m yet to meet a developer who codes in a three-piece suit and tie. But his CV is impressive – close to five hundred projects completed to date, with an average 5-star rating, the best possible on the platform. Plus, his profile says he’s based in Pakistan, a growing tech hub. I inbox him.
“Hi thanks for your message please share with me detail,” he responds.
The queen’s language may prove to be a challenge, I perceive. I go through his profile once again, scanning comments from his previous jobs. There are glowing reviews from his clients, seemingly from all over the world – USA, Canada, Australia, Israel, Philippines, Zambia even. I’m convinced. I send him the developer’s pack and request a quotation, but I go through two other profiles and inbox them as well, just in case.
I settle back and wait. But after two days, Index One still hasn’t responded so I send him a prod.
“Hi sorry I don’t have experience into this,” he replies.
I check with the other two. One asks a number of questions and engages me in a rapid back and forth. But finally, after assuring me that he has a team of over twenty experienced developers in his team, he disappears with them into deep cyberspace.
I focus on the other one. His profile shows a neat young man with a friendly smile and a well-trimmed mustache. Much like a coding sage, I tell myself.
“Can you please provide the requirements,” he requests politely.
And over the next four days, we exchange loads of info, including the login credentials for my website’s platform. He seems to have an understanding of what I need, but I soon begin to get nervous because, all through this, he has still not given me a quotation.
“1,500 USD, as we had discussed,” he replies, deadpan, after I insist on getting his price.
I may not know how much this should cost, but I’m dead sure of two things. One, this is a rather princely sum to consider spending during these Covid times, and two, we most definitely have not discussed this yet.
I begin to see where this is heading, so I go back to my platform and change all the passwords I had given him. Then I return to the conversation.
“We have not discussed the order amount,” I tell him, and ask him to confirm if his quotation is indeed 1500 USD.
“Is this not ok for you?” he replies innocently.
Most definitely not. But I still have no idea how much I should pay, so I send a desperate prayer to my heavenly Partner.
But the man continues. “Please let me know your budget,” he says.
I think for a moment. “USD 500,” I respond, a shot in the dark.
He asks me to increase the amount to 700 USD, promising me quality work. I’m surprised at how quickly his price has dropped, but I don’t know whether this is a fair amount or not. I tell him I need to consult with my Partner, my intention being to take the matter back to prayer. But before I can even knock on heaven’s doors, the man sends another text. He’s ok with USD 500, he assures me.
But my heavenly Partner avers:
“Send out more requests for quotations,” He instructs. I’m not surprised. It’s taken less than 45 minutes for the guy’s quotation to drop to a third of its original amount. I’m clearly a sitting duck in this game.
So I send out several more requests for quotations again, as instructed. And over the next two weeks, I get a few nibbles from a handful of curious developers. A few ask for further details, briefly peruse my pack and promptly exit their inbox. One of them at least has the courtesy to send a short text, after taking a glance at my brief.
“Sorry I am not available because of busy schedule,” he says.
It’s now been almost three weeks since I began my search – an unusually long time in this fast-paced space – and I’m losing valuable time. I’m getting a bit anxious. But when I pray, the Holy Spirit patiently explains to me that the coding required for this task is somewhat more complex than usual, and needs someone who not only has the skill but is also willing to go the extra mile. A little more patience is in order, on my part.
Sawa. I receive quotations from three more developers. They look somewhat promising but, still unsure of what I should accept, I attempt to negotiate with one of them.
“I am sorry, 300 USD is final,” he responds flatly.
Another one quotes the same amount but seems quite knowledgeable and more pleasant to work with. At just a fifth of the very first quote, it appears quite reasonable to me, and in light of everything, I consider taking up his offer. But again, I sense my Partner’s staying hand.
“Send out more,” He instructs.
I have already gone through close to half of the fifty profiles I began with, and I wonder if there’s anyone left. But I obey, and as I scan a few profiles, one that I had seen on the very first day, but had ignored, catches my eye.
“I am here to answer all your queries and solve all your problems,” it says.
That’s the one,” the Holy Spirit says.
I click on it. A long list of the developer’s past projects appears on the screen, and I begin to feel at home. He requests for my pack and asks me several questions and, though I can tell he’s very knowledgeable, its quite clear that he hasn’t come across my specific requirements before.
I ask him how much he will charge and, to my complete surprise, he asks for roughly half of the 300 USD quotation I had received earlier. And then politely requests if I could pay him after he’s successfully completed the job. I’m taken aback. As in, he’s asking me if it’s ok for him to proceed without a down-payment?!
“Offer him such and such an amount more than he has requested, and proceed,” my Partner instructs. It’s a reasonable amount to add, and I will soon understand why.
I go ahead and make the hire but, worried that the developer may encounter some difficulties, I take a moment to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to assist to him complete the work successfully. I’m most assuredly too clueless to help!
Over the next few days the developer works quite brilliantly, in my view, but sure enough a question soon arises. There are several different ways to implement this project, it seems, and I need to let him know which he should choose. This is no doubt the most critical decision I will need to make in this project. I have an idea which to choose, but I quickly head back to my Partner’s desk for a firm confirmation.
“Tell him to use option four,” the Holy Spirit tells me, and helps me understand why. This option will provide the best user experience for my customers, He assures me, and will cost my platform less over time.
I doubt I could ever have made a better choice of partner, brethren.
We continue. Another matter arises. The developer is trying to connect to some important servers, he says, but can’t seem to get through. He sends me the error code – in some torturous form of Greek – and asks if I have any info on how to correct this. I send him some documentation I think might help, but I realize he already had it, but probably didn’t understand it well enough. “Lord, please help him,” I pray, as I am way beyond my depth.
We move steadily on, and though Her Majesty’s language proves to be a bit of a challenge a few times, we somehow manage to communicate and he is able to finish the job to my complete satisfaction.
It takes him longer than he had envisioned however and, as I hand over his payment at the end, I finally understand why my Partner commandeered that extra amount for him. He has been nothing but diligent, focused, accommodating and kind, and has not even billed for the extra time it took him to finish this task.
We part as new-found friends, and make a note to work together again soonest.
Later, as I reflect on this encounter, I realize that I have not specifically thanked the Holy Spirit for guiding us so faithfully through this task. But to my surprise, as soon as I begin to pray, He drops a quick vision in my spirit.
In this vision, I see the developer seated at his desk, working. He has dark wavy hair, is dressed in a sleeveless navy-blue sweater and is bent over what appears to be some papers on his desk, pen slightly raised. The desk is light brown in color, and is propped against a large window to my left. I can tell it’s daytime by the warm light streaming in.
Standing behind him is a man. He is dressed in a flowing white robe, a maroon sash draped over his right shoulder and fastened with a belt on his waist. He is gazing silently at the young man’s work, hands clasped behind his back.
I take in this vision and, though I hear no words spoken, a deep sense of joy and peace begins to flood my spirit. I can’t stop smiling, amazed at how faithfully the Holy Spirit answered my prayer, literally overseeing this job on my behalf. And I remember my Saviour Jesus’ promise to all who believe and trust in Him:
“And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever..”
Forever sounds good to me 🙂
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever. John 14:16