Tuesday, December 18, 2018

God Arranges Amazing Things by Zoe M. McCarthy

I had prepared the lesson for Wednesday’s Community Bible study. Even under a tight book deadline, writing the weekly lesson came first. God would give me the time for the deadline. Didn’t God arrange amazing things?
Zoe M. McCarthy

We’d had to change the venue of the study to my church’s basement fellowship hall. Sunday at church, a member approached me and said, “It will be very cold this week. I’ll come to the church and turn the heat and water on for you ladies, and on the way home from my dog’s teeth cleaning, I’ll turn them off.”

His thoughtfulness amazed me. I hadn’t thought of these necessary tasks, but the man read the change in the bulletin and realized our need. God arranges amazing things.

On the day of the study, I wondered whether we’d have many attend class this week. Some ladies had doctor appointments or needed to drive someone else to a doctor appointment. One suffered laryngitis and another was home battling an unknown diagnosis. Two others had to stay home with spouses recovering from surgeries. One worked at a temporary job. Our normal host was away on a trip. And the venue change might keep one or two away. The day was wet, blustery, and below freezing. Another deterrent to leaving homes.

Maybe no one would come, and that was God’s plan in answer to my prayers on making my deadline. Also, I wouldn’t have to prepare a lesson for the next week. Time was so precious.

When I arrived, the fellowship hall was toasty. I set up for the study. At ten o’clock, no one had arrived. Then a truck passed the basement window. I was disappointed that only two of us would experience the lesson from John 15 about how we disciples need to love each other. 

The one arrival, I’ll call her Sandy, entered. When she saw we were only two out of eighteen ladies, she suggested we spend the time praying. I liked the idea. While we talked about several concerns to pray for, the door opened. Lisa appeared. (Not her real name.) Lisa shocked me. She was the last lady I expected to come. But God arranges amazing things.

I told the ladies the subject of the lesson. They decided we should save the important lesson for the other ladies. I told them having a lesson prepared for next week would help me with my deadline. 

While Sandy and I shared with Lisa our concerns we’d pray in confidence, Lisa stopped us. She said, “I can’t believe how open you can be about your families’ problems. I want to do that where it’s safe.” Lisa shared a story that had been a concern in her heart for years. We held hands, prayed for all our concerns, and promised to keep praying for them privately. Lisa said. “I’m so glad I came!” 

We had learned the planned lesson—how disciples love one another. We experienced it in the room’s heat, in the tiny group, in the listening, in the praying, and, yes, even in my deadline. God can arrange amazing things.

What amazing thing has God done for you this past week? This past year?

What amazing thing has God done for you this past week? This past year? @zoemmcarthy #amazinggod http://bit.ly/2QZychT

About the Author
Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript
in 30 Days
by Zoe M. McCarthy
A full-time writer and speaker, Zoe M. McCarthy, author of The Putting Green Whisperer, The Invisible Woman in a Red Dress, Gift of the Magpie, and Calculated Risk, writes contemporary Christian romances involving tenderness and humor. She also has a nonfiction book, Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days, coming out in January 2019. When she’s not writing, Zoe enjoys her five grandchildren, teaching Bible studies, leading workshops on writing, hosting a prayer shawl ministry, and canoeing. She lives with her husband in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Zoe blogs regularly at www.zoemmccarthy.com.

The revising method in Tailor Your Fiction Manuscript in 30 Days works for any fiction genre. It’s designed for the writer who has at least a draft of a completed manuscript. The goal is to shape a not-yet-submitted, rejected, or self-published manuscript with low ratings into a book that shines. The method can also be a guiding resource for writers starting a manuscript.