In 2011 our home was broken into while we were at work. When I arrived home after work I went through the garage to get in the house. As I walked through the house I felt like something was wrong but I was in a hurry and I was running late to a dinner party. My husband was not yet home and since the robbers didn’t take big items like the TV or X-Box I didn’t exactly notice until I got to our bedroom. As I was rushing to get ready I still felt like something was off and it wasn’t until I was looking for something in my dresser that things started to click.
My dresser drawers were all shuffled through and I remember thinking, “what was Brian looking for in my dresser?” And just as I was having that thought I looked at the top of my dresser and noticed my entire cross necklace collection was missing. My heart sank. I had a nice collection that Brian and the boys had given me through the years and lost more than 17 necklaces that day.
I was grieved at losing my cross collection. Honestly I felt violated and angry. When Brian got home we called the police and filed a report. After the officer left I sat down and prayed. I was so hurt and angry but I didn’t want to let those emotions get the best of me or allow the break in to create fear that it could happen again. As I prayed I asked the Lord to help me forgive the person or persons who took from us and I asked the Lord to bless them. That is a hard prayer to pray when you are angry and hurt. In my flesh I didn’t want to bless them I wanted them brought to justice and I wanted my necklaces back.
Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Never pay back evil for evil to anyone. If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men. Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. “But if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him a drink; for in so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good. Romans 12: 14, 17-21
In my prayer I even went so far in as to ask the Lord to use the crosses for their salvation; and if any way possible could the crosses make their way back to me in the future. I know that they are only things and we aren’t to lay up treasure here on earth where it can be destroyed but in my heart each of the crosses were special and held precious family memories. So I asked for what I felt was the impossible.
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21
In September 2014, three years after the break-in, we were in the middle of moving and Brian and I took a break for lunch. While we were out we stopped by an appliance store to look for a refrigerator for our new home. As we pulled into the parking lot I felt the Lord say to me go into the pawnshop (next to the appliance store) and look for my crosses. At first I didn’t say anything to Brian since we were in a hurry and needed to get back to moving. I also thought that maybe it was just my wishful thinking that I could find a necklace. But the whole time we were in the store I kept getting the nudge to walk over to the pawnshop. As we left the store I sheepishly said to Brian, “I think we are supposed to go into the pawnshop and look for my crosses.” I felt terrible asking only because we were in a hurry. Brian was gracious and said, “Ok, let’s go.”
When we went into the store my heart was racing…I wondered had I really heard from the Lord or was it my own thoughts; after all it had been 3 years. As I neared the jewelry counter I saw a cross that looked like one I lost. It was a two sided cross and one side was an ornate white gold and the other side was a yellow gold. The yellow-gold side was facing up and as I waited for the clerk to assist us I began to doubt. The only way I was going to be sure it was mine was to see the reverse side and if it were white gold I would know it was mine. When the clerk pulled it out of the counter he turned the cross over as he handed it to me. As he turned it over it revealed the white gold. I couldn’t believe it…it was my cross necklace! We immediately purchased it.
I know some of you may be thinking, it may not have been my exact cross and maybe it was one of many that were made. The thing that made this particular cross special it was purchased on a military base from an Italian jeweler and he didn’t make many copies. The odds of it being mine were good…great actually since the pawnshop was less than 7 miles from my house. Is it possible that it was a copy, yes; but I don’t think so. I believe that God heard my prayer in 2011 when I asked for Him to bless those that broken into our home and if any way possible could the crosses make it back to me. He answered my prayer.
The important part of this story isn’t that I got one of my crosses back. The important part of the story is that God heard my prayer, answered it and at the appointed time spoke to me. And when He spoke I listened and obeyed.
That day in 2014 Brian and I were so busy and focused on moving that I was having trouble being obedient … but God spoke and I had to listen. What if I had ignored it and thought it was just my wishful thinking? I would have missed an answered prayer and a huge blessing. God didn’t have to answer that prayer… it was just a cross … a material item that has no eternal value. BUT God did answer the prayer and returned a cross that meant a lot to me. He didn’t have to do that…but He did. I did my best to not harbor evil in my heart towards those that broke into our home. I prayed that God will bless them and out of those simple acts He answered my prayer reminding me of how much He loves me.
If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear; but certainly God has heard; He has given heed to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, who has not turned away my prayer nor His lovingkindness from me. Psalm 66:18-20
How often in life are we so busy and so distracted that we miss God? How often do we miss an answer to a prayer? Or miss something God is inviting you to be a part of? We live in a world that never sleeps. We are constantly bombarded with information and noise that we have a hard time hearing God. Can you imagine if Abraham was too busy? Or Noah? Or the apostles? They would have missed out on what God was doing and the blessings that followed by their obedience.
I want to challenge and encourage you to slow down, turn off the world and be still and listen for God. You never know what God will say to you. BUT if you are too busy and too distracted you will likely miss out on what God is doing or what He is inviting you to be a part of. Don’t be too busy!