Monday, November 1, 2010

God's Timing or Satan's Attack?

I was supposed to receive the first published copy of Seven Roles, One Woman in late September. The week came and went without a word from the publisher. I eventually received word they had a problem registering the ISBN number so printing would be delayed. A week passed. Then two. My contact at the publisher told me I should have already received it; she would check on the problem. Another week passed. Halfway through the following week I contacted the publisher again. I discovered my contact was no longer with the company and, although the printer had received the order, no one in their company had followed through on it. They promised to put a rush on the printing and shipping.

Why am I sharing this with you? During the first part of that series of delays I kept thinking, “This is God’s timing” or “I will receive the book when it is the right time. God has a plan in all of this.” About halfway through the month of September, though, I began to wonder if all the delays were an attack by Satan to stifle the spread of God’s Word and discourage me in my ministry. I increased my prayers for the situation, all the while unsure as to what was going on in the spiritual realm as problems persisted in the physical realm.

Last Wednesday I was supposed to begin teaching the study to a class at my church. As the time neared to begin, I knew it wasn’t going to be available on time. I had to make a different plan. I decided to teach on one Psalm per week until the study was ready. I knew I wouldn’t run out of Psalms before the book was published and I also knew I could stop any time when it did become available. I chose Psalm 23 for the first week and proceeded to prepare my lesson.

Psalm 23 is perhaps the most well-known passage of Scripture in the Bible. The only passage that might compete with it for popularity is the famous John 3:16. Despite its overwhelming familiarity, I learned so much preparing that lesson. Someday I’ll share those things here, but for now, that’s not the purpose of this article.

I went to church that night to teach. I like to get there early to set up the classroom and make a pot of coffee. While doing those things, my husband showed up at the church building with a video camera in one hand and a package in the other hand. He had found the study on the front porch. Unknown to us, the UPS guy had delivered it earlier in the day.

I still don’t know if it was God’s timing or Satan’s attack that led to the delays in finishing the book. However, I did learn something that night. If it was God’s timing, then it was a good thing. If it was Satan’s attack, then his plan backfired. Either way, my class had a wonderful time gaining some new and fresh insight into the beautiful 23rd Psalm. I believe God wants us to take every opportunity to trust Him and serve Him, even if things aren’t working out right. Even if Satan is trying to block us at every turn.

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