Friday, November 30, 2012

The Blessing of a Burglary

A couple weeks ago The Mrs. and I both had busy days.  It was a Saturday, and we were both running here and there, doing errands, taking the kids places, grocery shopping, going to church, and so on and so forth.  By the time we were both home, we had both parked our cars outside the garage, assuming that there would be more errands to run later in the day.  As it turned out, neither of us ended up going anywhere for the rest of the day, and neither of us remembered that our cars were parked outside.  We almost always park our cars in the garage, and very seldom leave them outside overnight.  We figure we have a garage so we might as well use it.

The following morning, which was a Sunday, I sped off to church at about 7:30 AM.  The Mrs. came later with the young'ns.  As I met her at church, she said she was "having issues."  What were the issues?  It turns out that, sometime during the previous night, someone had jimmied her car door open and went through some stuff.  They ended up taking a purse-like bag that was on the seat (which, oddly enough, was filled with her Children's Church materials).  But other than that, nothing else appeared to be missing.  We counted our blessings and went on with the day, contacting the police that afternoon just to let them know of the break-in.

At lunch that afternoon, The Mrs. asked me to purchase some 1X8 boards for a craft project she had for her kids at school.  She asked me to cut the boards into one foot sections, which I said was no problem. After lunch, I went to the lumber yard, secured the wood, and took it home.  A quick change of clothes after arriving at home found me out in the garage with the wood set up on my sawhorses.  I went to the shelf that held my circular saw, but noticed something strange: it wasn't there.  Neither was my jig saw. Neither was the case for my cordless drill.  I spun around and looked throughout the rest of the garage.  Huh.  My table-top bandsaw was also missing from its perch.  A quick perusal of the rest of the garage revealed that there was other stuff missing too - a lot of stuff.  In addition to the missing power tools, two of my toolboxes were gone, one containing miscellaneous hand tools, the other containing all of my socket wrenches and sockets, which are probably my most commonly used tools.  Needless to say, the thieves walked away with quite a haul.  Over $500.00 in tools.

After doing all the necessary work with police, and finding out that my homeowner's insurance deductible was more than $1500.00, the words of Matthew Henry came to mind: "Let me be thankful, first, because he never robbed me before; second, because although he took my purse, he did not take my life; third, because although he took what I possessed, it was not much; and fourth, because it was I who was robbed, not I who robbed."

I've used this quote before in some of my sermons.  Now I got to live it out.

As I pondered Henry's words, I began to realize how much of a non-event this robbery was to me.  I really didn't care.  It's not that I enjoyed being robbed, but more that I realize that the stuff that was taken from me is...well, just stuff.  I don't judge the value of my existence by the stuff that I have.

This morning my mom brought up the burglary to me again in conversation.  It wasn't until she mentioned it that I realized I hadn't even thought of the event pretty much since it happened.  I also realized that I'm not really bitter about being robbed, nor do I necessarily miss the stuff that was taken.

It should be noted that this would not have always been my typical reaction.  In the past I most likely would have responded in anger and resentment, wishing to exact vengeance upon those who would dare to steal from me.  This time, I'm just kind of like..."Meh."  What's happening to me?  I suppose one option is that I'm just becoming increasingly cold and calloused as I get older.  The other option, and what I think is actually happening, is that I'm growing in holiness.  God is increasingly growing in me a desire for eternal things, and as a result, I value and desire temporal things less and less.  This is the process of sanctification.

I'm glad I got to have this experience.  In a very real sense, the burglary was a blessing.

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