There's a place I regularly go (I won't say where to keep things
discreet) that has recently become a source of relational conflict.
Not necessarily involving me, but definitely involving those whom I
like a lot. To the extent that there is a spiritual component to
these conflicts, as with any conflict, I am trying to be prayerful
over the people involved and trusting that God is still running things
in the midst of opposition and confusion.
I am not one to claim that all hardship in life is "spiritual
warfare." Life sometimes is just plain hard, without any extra
presence of demonic forces or Satanic influence. But that doesn't
mean I don't think this world is utterly devoid of such things.
Darkness still has its moments on this side of glory.
As I've tried to play peacemaker, weird things have happened to me
lately. One day, I tried to turn on my handheld computer in this
place and found I couldn't. I did a "soft" reset, only to have it
shut down almost immediately. I did it again, and this time it
automatically did a "hard" reset, wiping out all of my data. Having
used my handheld computer earlier in the day, I was puzzled as to why
it would all of a sudden not work.
Two days later, I rode my bike to this place. On my way home, my
wheel made a funny noise and then I heard a "clunk." I looked down
and the axle had come loose from the frame! Having ridden my bike to
this place, it puzzled me that I would have problems riding from this
It occurred to me that perhaps there are unseen things going on here.
Might it be that the enemy of my soul is trying to heap these petty
discouragements on top of the larger discouragements, to keep me from
playing peacemaker and persevering in prayer?
Perhaps, perhaps not. After all, my handheld computer is seven years
old and my bicycle is nine years old, so both were bound to poop out
on my at any minute. Either way, I said a quick prayer, murmured
"he's a liar" under my breath, and proceded on my way.
You see, if there isn't spiritual warfare going on here, God's running
things and Satan is a liar; and if there is, God's still running
things and Satan's still a liar. In a world where so much is beyond
our control, so much pain happens that we can't do anything about, so
many forces are in play that are much stronger than we are, this is a
comforting truth to stand on.