Praying for thieves….

17 Sep

It is no fun to lose things that belong to us, whether we misplace them permanently or have them taken by someone else.  It’s not always that those things mean too much to us, it can be that they represent work lost and more work to replace.  If things have been taken by thieves there can be the added feeling of violation.  How could someone do this to us? Why do they not understand how much it hurts?

Several months ago someone broke into the trunk of our car and stole some valuable medical equipment that Cathi uses in her ministry to women who have no other clinical options available.  Last week someone stole the whole car.  Double theft, double violation, and no one to point to.  There is just the bureaucratic process of reporting the loss, dealing with three different government agencies, and waiting to see if we will get anything from the only insurance available here.  Meanwhile, the loss is always in front of us, every time we might have used that car.

But what about those thieves?  The ones who live a life where stealing is a profession (they were quite skilled).  What does this lifestyle do to their conscience, their relationships, and particularly to their potential relationship with God?   To live a lifestyle of theft requires lying regularly to themselves and others.  It requires deception, mistrust and a constant state of fear of being caught.  Its very nature is disruptive not only to the victims of their theft, but also to their friends and family.  They know what they are doing is wrong and given our human nature’s inclination, they may think they don’t have a chance to have a relationship with the Father.  In fact, I’d propose that they are more “works” oriented in their view of relationship with God than those who are living a more “religious” lifestyle.  How might a thief respond to the message of grace?  To be offered a free gift of forgiveness for all they have done and for all the people they have hurt might be difficult to accept.  But what joy for those who hear that message, believe it, and claim it! Jesus said he came to proclaim hope for the hopeless, and who is more hopeless than someone who does wrong and knows it?

So join Cathi and me as we pray for those who have stolen from us.  This isn’t the first time in our seven years here. In fact, we’ve probably lost over $10,000 in various creative means of theft over these years.  But we have hope, and the thieves do not.  We have a Father who knows our needs and cares for us.  He provides for the sparrow, how much more for us?  Our desire is for these thieves to come to know the hope of the Gospel, to know the incredible riches of his grace, and to have their lives transformed by this amazing gift of salvation.  We know God knew this would happen, allowed it to happen, and that his plan incorporates these events into his tapestry of building his kingdom.  We can only speculate on how this fits into his story, but we can know that if he allowed it, he’s going to use it for his glory.

Praying for thieves may sound odd, but it reflects God’s heart for the lost.  May our hearts grow to match his.

One Response to “Praying for thieves….”

  1. Joseph Melchers September 18, 2014 at 5:41 am #

    Thanks Brian! A really helpful view of your loss. It reminds me of Christ’s own description of why He came to be among us: Matthew 18:11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost. I’ll pray for your thieves!

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