Three weeks ago, a squirrel died under our garage. It would have required some extensive deconstruction to access it… so Mark decided to let it “run its course.” Gross. Now I typically like to park in the garage but during the week that followed, I opted to steer clear of the stink and park in the driveway instead.
On Wednesday of that week, I was on my way home from work and had an encounter I’ll not soon forget. Now for the past year, my normal post-work routine looked like this: pick up Flint from my mother-in-law’s, pull into the garage, grab the baby in one arm and a bazillion bags in the other, enter the house through the back door.
Due to the dead squirrel, my pattern was off. I decided to drop off a moving box and my bags first. Instead of going in the back door, I went in the front door (which is a pain to open when the house settles and everything sticks). After finagling my way through the door with both arms full, I walked into the kitchen.
“That’s weird. I must have left the back door open this morning.” Wide open. Screen door and all. That’s when I noticed the door frame, deadbolt still attached, was shattered all over the kitchen floor.
God's Fingerprints Are Everywhere
To make a much longer story short, everyone was safe and nothing was taken. I was able to describe the getaway car to the police and a neighbor saw the perpetrator run around the side of the house as I went in. I’ve replayed that day many times. If any single detail changed, the end result could have been dramatically different.
If the squirrel hadn’t died, I could have parked in the garage.
If I could have parked in the garage, I would have picked up my kid first.
If I had picked up my kid first, I would’ve entered through the back door.
If we had entered through the back door, I would have been blocking the burglar's exit with Flint in my arms (did I mention our front door is hard to open?).
Stuff We Learned
Can you see why I’ve been replaying that day in slow motion, giving thanks to God every time? So there are three things Mark and I learned through this situation. Here they are, in no particular order:
1) When God is up to something BIG, Satan likes to start pestering. As I mentioned, nothing was taken. Not a thing! In fact, the only damage beside the door frame was to the couch. (One of the detectives accidentally dropped a jar of fingerprint dusting powder on it. And even on that front, the inconvenience was outweighed by the fact that the police department paid to have it cleaned!) We live in a really safe neighborhood; even the detective commented that the break-in was a fairly unusual occurrence. We are grateful for God’s protection, and in an odd way, the situation helped us see more clearly that God’s on the move! And we’re so excited to be a part of it!
2) Community matters. Within minutes of the police arriving, my neighbor came over to hang out with me until Mark got home. Other neighbors contacted us to see if we wanted to spend the night with them. Mark’s parents secured the door and helped mop up all the fingerprint dusting powder (that stuff gets everywhere!). Another neighbor texted later that evening to make sure we were alright. Wow. Talk about feeling loved in a moment when we needed it most!
3) If God can work through a dead squirrel, He can work through me too. Humorous but true. At the beginning of the week, I thought that dead squirrel was just a huge inconvenience. We know that in ALL things, God is working it all out for His purposes. Satan may be the prince of this world, but Jesus is still KING! When we pray “Thy Will be done” (as Jesus taught us to do), we are asking that we would have eyes to see Him at work. And, wow, have we been seeing Him at work lately.
On Sunday we visited Word of Life Fellowship in Cibolo (north of San Antonio), a church planted and led by Pastor Ken Mitschke.
In his sermon, Pastor Ken reminded us to take all our worries and cares and “throw ‘em up” to God in prayer (1 Peter 5:7). Pray for the small things as well as the big things. What a timely reminder!
A Prayer of Thanksgiving
As I mentioned last week, we’re sharing prayer requests. This week it’s a prayer of thanksgiving. Y’all, the beginning of last week was rough. Then we requested prayers for peace and things started turning around. Those challenges that seemed insurmountable at the beginning of the week ended up being minor annoyances. We’re feeling the prayer impact. So join us in a prayer of thanksgiving not only for God’s protection during our home invasion, but also for the fact that He is as much in the SMALL things as He is in the BIG things!
Next week Mark will be sharing some of the cool stuff we've been learning from smart people these past few weeks. (To all of our college friends who thought we were nerds way back then, the rumors are true... we've only gotten worse!)