At the end of last week, I discovered money, credit cards and ID were missing from my purse.
There were few times my purse had not been with me. But there were some times. I had gone to various appointments. We had had multiple people in the house for our remodeling project.
We had welcomed them all as God’s Guests in His House, where God allows us to live. We had treated all of them well, even sharing bits and pieces of our life with each other.
I did not want to even consider the thought that any of our guests would steal. So Jay and I began an intensive search through our house, our cars, the yard, and the garbage. It was not there.
We retraced my steps for the past couple of weeks, went to each location, but still turned up empty handed.
Finally we had to consider the possibility that someone had taken it. My initial reaction was shock. I had said this was God’s House and people come here at His Invitation. Would God have invited a thief to come into His Home?
I asked Him. He referred me to the story of Zacheus. Jesus never called Zacheus a thief. But after spending time with Jesus Zacheus himself acknowledged if he had cheated anyone, he would repay it. (Luke 19:8)
Jesus knew all. He could have called him a thief, an embezzler, a cheat, but He didn’t. He called him by name. And He went to his house and dined with him.
Jesus knew Judas. It was said by some Judas was a thief. John said, “He was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.” (John 12:6)
But Jesus still let Judas manage the money for the group. He still washed his feet. He still dined with him.
Jesus taught what to do if people work against you.
He said, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
He said, “If anyone wants to take your shirt, hand over your coat as well.”
Jesus took a man some considered a thief with Him to Paradise.
The thief acknowledged his wrong doing. He only asked Jesus to remember him.
The one called a thief did not realize he was asking The Lord of The Universe for more than just holding him in His Memory.
He was asking that The Lord put all the parts of his soul in the right places He had designed them to go. He was about to be re-membered.
He had no idea how deep and wide God’s Mercy was. He had no idea He would ever get to go Home with Jesus.
But he did. Jesus told The Father He was bringing a friend Home.
We still do not know what happened to the items in my purse. Perhaps they were lost, accidentally fallen out of the purse and now innocently lying somewhere waiting to be found.
But if someone took them, I would say this to that person.
I forgive you. The temptation that drove you to steal is not big enough to snuff out God’s Grace.
God created you to do good things. He has a Plan for your life and it is a Good Plan.
God does not see you as a thief nor do I. We see you as The Perfect Creation He designed you to be.
I pray that you will cast off anything that hinders you from experiencing the full Joy of The Lord. I pray that you will trust Him to give you everything you need.
I trust you will be able to resist the temptation to steal what is not yours. Should that thought ever again come to you, I pray you will resist it and instead thank God that whatever you need, He will provide.
I pray that you come to the knowledge that you have not taken from us. Everything we have belongs to God. So what you took was never ours to begin with.
I pray you will talk with Him about it. You may be surprised to find He will not lecture you or condemn you.
He will not condone what you did, but He will forgive you and love you. Get to know Him. He knows you very well.
When you find out Who He is, you will know who you are and why you are here.
We will welcome you into His House if you come here. We will continue to see you as His Invited Guest. We will be watching for God’s Glory to shine through you!
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”