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THE THIEF IN THE NIGHT
August 3, 2004
 
I hope something wonderful happens today. Maybe I'll meet my true love.

Maybe someday I'll get a wonderful job that I adore, instead of the one I have, a job that makes me feel dead inside.

Maybe someday I'll lose weight. Maybe I'll stop smoking. Maybe I'll go back to school.

Maybe these things will happen. But we don't have forever to prepare for them, and our preparations themselves are a major part of bringing them about. The thief doesn't come out of nowhere -- he prepares: chooses which house to rob, chooses his time carefully, watches to see when the owner goes to sleep or leaves for work. The thief is ready. He prepares for his evil.

So why not prepare for your good? Maybe someday I'll have a deep and satisfying spiritual life. You will -- but you probably can't get a library book unless you go to the library, and you probably won't have gas in your car unless you visit the gas station. Go where the thing you want resides. Don't wait for it to come to you. Draw nearer to it. You may have to change in order to draw nearer: gather the courage to change in order to approach the love of your life. Never listen to the voice inside you that says you'll never change -- everyone changes. Nothing stays the same. But we can take an active part in steering our own changes. Become, more and more, the person who will love your heart's desire and use it well, and your heart's desire will not be able to resist you.

Or -- you may find that it is no longer your heart's desire. That changes, too, sometimes. We long for things that are not God as if they were, and sooner or later everything but God collapses under the weight of our love and need. It turns out that all our loves speak to us of the love that made us. This is a love that doesn't have to break into your house. This love has its own key.





Genesis 15:1-6
Psalm 33 or 33:12-15,18-22
Hebrews 11:1-3(4-7)8-16
Luke 12:32-40

But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what time the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour. - Luke 12:39-40

Sam was ready for anything: young, energetic, just getting his business off the ground, eager to succeed and give his little boy everything he needed. There were just the two of them: Sam was a single father And, for the first time in a while, things were looking good: he'd just received his first big contract. This was the beginning of good things, and Sam was ready.

Ready, that is, except for one thing: Sam didn't have insurance on the business. There was no money yet, and the insurance premiums would high. If he could just fulfill this contract, he'd have enough to insure the business, and he'd be set.

The weather in Sand Diego was hot and dry -- scary hot and dry. Several wildfires had already started, and firefighters from all over the country were pouring into Southern California. They would probably get the flames under control. But things got scarier as three days passed and the fires still burned, racing beyond the reach of all the human forces arrayed against them. Sam and his little boy watched the fires on the television. Sam made sure his son wasn't scared. We'll be fine, he told him. Inside, though, Sam was beginning to wonder about that.

And the next day, things weren't fine at all. The fire hit his business -- but not before Sam got out safely, with everything he needed to do the job on which his future depended. They salvaged everything to do the job but one piece -- part of his remote control system. There wasn't time to go back for it. In seconds, the part Sam needed was a puddle of melted plastic.

As soon as San Diego County was declared a disaster area, Episcopal Community Services in the Diocese of San Diego received emergency, money from Episcopal Relief and Development, From the money, ECS was able to advance Sam the cash he needed to but the part so he could finish the job, and that's what he did. Hearing of his plight, the supplier of the missing part -- who also did business with ECS -- notified him hat, under the circumstances, they had decided to install it for no charge. Sam got his part, did the job, and continues his insured journey toward prosperity for him and his son.

Bad things can happen quickly, with little or no warning. But Jesus is faster, and stronger. Empowered by his Holy Spirit, and b the spirit of generosity of people Sam and his son will never meet, ERD can move pretty quickly, too.

Visit ERD's website, www.er-d.org, or telephone 1-800-334-7626, ext. 5129.
Copyright © 2018 Barbara Crafton
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