When my husband, Tim, arrived at the office on a recent Monday morning, shattered glass in the door shouted, “Break-in!” His heart pounded.
Once inside, Tim found that a new computer monitor and tools had gone missing. The cabinet that housed company checks was broken, and 100 checks were gone.
Tim said, “That afternoon, a forensics expert came to take fingerprints on cupboard and drawer handles, plastic trays the thief had moved around, and other hard surfaces they might have touched.
“He said that the fingerprint database and matching software have gotten much better. Where they used to get around 75 matches a 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.
But instead of getting angry with the criminal, I was mad at my husband.
Here are three things I learned from the 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 apologized to Tim for judging him. He extended forgiveness. He didn’t need a grouchy wife on top of the stress of multiple trips to the bank to set up a new account.
The forensics expert pointed out that criminals go after a couple of places in one pass. The devil does that too. Lots of marriages are under attack.
2.) 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 God-truths.
Criticism bears the fingerprints of the enemy. I realized that I needed to exchange lies for God-truths. I exchanged the thought, “I’m mad” for one that said, “I’ve been married for 38 years to this man, and I can encourage him, even when I feel anxious.”
I shot off a text: “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. The repairman is 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 to reflect and take a peace break.
I went for a brisk walk. I sat in the sunshine and cleared 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. And peace dropped into my spirit.
“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).
Jesus promises a happy ending called: “If a thief is caught, he must pay sevenfold” (Proverbs 6:31).
One stolen door. Seven more doors on the way, right? Wait! What will we do with seven doors?
The game is afoot!
Friend, what has been stolen, killed, or destroyed in your life? How does forgiving change the course of events?
Rise to freedom!
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