The Benefits of Crime, 3

The Benefits of Crime, 3 February 28, 2010

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

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

7.   I have developed greater sympathy for persecutedChristians. One of the small comforts to me during the days immediatelyfollowing our break-in was that the crime wasn’t personal. These criminalsweren’t going after me or my family; I merely had some stuff they wanted, sothey took it. But one evening as I was praying with some friends for persecutedbelievers around the world, it dawned on me that these brothers and sisters arein exactly the opposite situation from me. The crimes committed against them arevery personal, and deliberately so. They are robbed and physically abusedprecisely 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 youroppressors are aggressively trying to hurt you. This perspective has given me anew sense of solidarity with persecuted believers and a new commitment to prayfor them.

(continued next week)