The Benefits of Crime, 3

Continuing the list of benefits the Lord has brought my way through the burglary at our house:

6.   We have noticed a growing sense of commitment developing within the Parker Hills family, and it seems God often uses trials in the community to draw people even closer together. Of course, we are hardly the only family in the church who have faced a trial recently, nor is ours the most acute. But we have definitely seen God use these hard times to motivate people to care for each other in practical, meaningful ways. God intends for His church to be a caring network of neighbor-like friends, not just a Sunday gathering for singing and preaching. Sometimes it takes trials to get us there!

7.   I have developed greater sympathy for persecuted Christians. One of the small comforts to me during the days immediately following our break-in was that the crime wasn’t personal. These criminals weren’t going after me or my family; I merely had some stuff they wanted, so they took it. But one evening as I was praying with some friends for persecuted believers around the world, it dawned on me that these brothers and sisters are in exactly the opposite situation from me. The crimes committed against them are very personal, and deliberately so. They are robbed and physically abused precisely because of who they are and Whom they love. No one tried to hurt me, yet I still felt deeply violated. How much more so in a situation where your oppressors are aggressively trying to hurt you. This perspective has given me a new sense of solidarity with persecuted believers and a new commitment to pray for them.

(continued next week)