When Tim arrived at the office Monday morning, a shattered glass in the door shouted, “Break-in!” His heart pounded.
Once inside, Tim was startled to find that a new computer monitor and tools had gone missing. The cabinet that housed company checks had been broken into, and 100 checks were gone.
“The first responder walked through the building, asked about what was stolen, and wrote up the police report. An hour later, a forensics expert came to take fingerprints. I walked him through the building, looking for likely places to find prints: cupboard and drawer handles, some plastic trays the thief had moved around while emptying them, and basically smooth, hard surfaces that they might have touched.
“He said that they get a lot of good matches these days, because the fingerprint database and matching software have gotten so much better. Where they used to get around 75 matches per month, they now get 500 matches. When they get a match, they pick up the suspect and confront him with his prints at the scene. They usually confess. In fact, sometimes there are two break-ins close to each other, and they get the guy’s prints at one, but not at the other. When they ask the thief if he broke into the second one, he’ll usually confess to both. So the conviction rate is pretty high.”
Oooh – a mystery! Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot loves this stuff. So does Sherlock Tim.
Friend, recently, I’ve been struggling to hear God’s voice clearly. When that happens, it usually means the enemy has come in to steal, kill, and destroy. There are a couple of parallels here.
What are 3 takeaways from this week’s break-in?
1.) Did the thief take a jackhammer to the building’s hearty brick? No. He went after a glass surface, the weakest point of the building structure. The enemy finds our weak spots and moves in for the kill. Our weak points are places where we’ve taken offense – panes of unforgiveness.
I’ve been judgmental and critical of Tim lately—ouch! I needed to go back and ask him to forgive me. He didn’t need a grouchy wife on top of the stress of multiple trips to the bank to set up a new account. I had to consciously accept Christ’s forgiveness.
“Take heart, son; your sins are forgiven” (Matthew 9:2).
By the way, did you notice that the forensics expert pointed out criminals who go after a couple of places in one pass? The devil does that too. Many marriages are under attack right now!
2.) Did you catch the statistics? Police are now finding 6-7 times more fingerprint match-ups today, thanks to new software technology. When we determine the exact “fingerprints” of the enemy, we gain victory by lasering in on super HD “insteads.” I exchanged the trap of comparison—”I’m not even in my friends’ league of marriage success”—for a gentle thought-shift: gratitude for 38 years of cool memories. I swapped “shoulda-coulda-woulda” regret-talk for God-talk that says, “Possible! I’ve got plenty of time to make it right. I can affirm my husband, even though I’m feeling anxious.”
I texted Tim, “I’m sorry I was the storm in your safe harbor. I want to be the safe harbor in your storm.”
3.) Tim nailed the door shut to prevent another break-in while the repairman gets the necessary equipment for the job. Is the guy going to repair the broken door? No. He’s going to replace the door and the door frame. Sometimes we need to replace the point of access in order to literally reframe the entry point. That might look like taking time away from routine to reflect.
I took a few steps back to shake off the agitation and sense of oppression. I realized that it wasn’t my husband or a thief who was the real enemy, but the devil.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).
I went for a brisk walk. I sat in the sunshine and emptied my head. I listened to Scripture on audio. I put on worship in my home. I texted a couple of friends with words of encouragement.
I am purposing in my heart to forgive the criminal. We have taken steps to alert the authorities, so that our neighbors’ property can be safe, but, yes, I forgive the thief.
Besides, Jesus promises a happy ending called: “If he is caught, he must pay sevenfold” (Proverbs 6:31).
One stolen door. 7 more doors on the way, right? Wait! What will we do with 7 doors?
The game is afoot.
Friend, what has the enemy stolen, killed, or destroyed lately? Did you get it back? How?
Rise to freedom!