Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Thief in the Night

"Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect."  Matthew 24:42-44


Muddy footprint left behind by the burglar on my family room carpet.
On April 2, 2012 at 4 a.m. our home was burglarized. We have a video tape of the entire incident from the vantage point of our neighbor's home. It was as much a shock to us to come downstairs at 6 a.m., expecting a normal day like all the others (except we were sending our oldest son off for 5 days to go backpacking on the Appalachian Trail), only to find our back door wide open and many items gone. No one expects to have their home entered, let alone, have it entered while they are upstairs sleeping!


After making sure my sons were all safe and my youngest son was in his bed sleeping, I ran to my bedroom and fell down on my knees. I could only whisper a brief prayer as I cried out to the Lord, "Father, help us, show us what to do!"


Picking myself up, I made sure Dave had already called 911, but it didn't matter, the thief was gone and there would be no "hot pursuit." 


Once I discovered my purse was gone, we immediately called the bank and credit card companies (only 2) to cancel our cards. No one had attempted to take money from our accounts or make unwanted charges. I was relieved, but then the reality hit me that I felt so violated. Why would anyone take my purse? It had less than $10 in it, a set of keys, my cell phone, wallet and some obvious things of little value or worth. A few days later, I realized that my son's Bible was still inside....could I possibly pray that the burglar would pick up the Bible in his own desperation and read it and get saved? Heck yeah! Foolish as it seems, I prayed, believing, just as a little child would, that somehow this young man would, in his desperation, read the most powerful book in the world -- the WORD of GOD!
What was taken (TV, Wii, basket with Wii accessories) and what was left behind (most of the stereo equipment, dust, a brand new Roku, a cardboard insert from a Wii remote). I don't want to be left behind.


I'll write more about what happened in another post, but today, as I was praying for this young man to be saved (my prayer is not that we would get our stuff back, but that somehow this man would repent and be saved -- a much more eternal outcome than just the fleeting return of our stolen goods), I remembered the verse in Matthew posted above and it spoke volumes to my heart -- will I be ready when Jesus returns?


A startling analogy and one that hits so close to home right now. Am I ready? Do I really know the hour or day that Jesus will come? Is my heart fixed on heaven above and not on the things of this earth? Do I trust Jesus enough to believe that He works all things together for good? I do know this -- my life is but a fleeting moment in the blip of history. Do I cherish my life on this earth MORE than I cherish our Heavenly Father and my eternal home? Do I dwell more on the things this world has to offer, than the eternal things that matter most? Am I fervently telling others about Jesus and proclaiming the message of His Salvation so that none would perish and all would come to repentance? For whom and what am I living today?


I hope the photos of the aftermath of this burglary will  serve as a reminder to keep my focus on Jesus, the author and finisher of my faith. The petty things of this life that weigh me down seem so unimportant.....and the protecting hand of my loving Savior serves as a stark reality that Jesus is so merciful and kind, gentle and caring....more about that will come as I write about the way Christ is always glorified when we turn to Him.

"To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified." Isaiah 61:3

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