Friday, September 3, 2010

Never Underestimate Anybody

This past Saturday I was the victim of a pickpocketing team. I am very, very aware of my surroundings, but I was duped by a distraction maneuver. One young man asked me a completely absurd question while the other took my wallet right out of my bag. I noticed my wallet missing a mere 15 minutes later. It took me about another 45 minutes to get home, go online, check my accounts and freeze them -- but in that 60-minute window, the thieves managed to charge $1500 to my accounts.

My parents have always told me "never underestimate anybody." I don't think these crooks are interested in stealing my identity. They probably were only after my money, but I took extra precautions to flag my driver's license. I don't want to underestimate these guys. But you know what? That saying works both ways. Never underestimate anybody. That means, these guys shouldn't have underestimated me, either. And I am confident they did.

You see, when these men stole from me, they underestimated me, but they also underestimated my God.Because I am a complete stranger to them, I'm confident they underestimated my impressive memory skills. They also underestimated my heightened sensitivity for even the most subtle, yet abnormal behavior. They are probably counting on me not knowing how my wallet disappeared, but unfortunately for them I know exactly where and when I was pickpocketed. I have already given the police a thorough description of the thieves. I even gave the manager of the supermarket the exact time to view his surveillance tapes, and sure enough, the whole crime was recorded. I don't know if they will be caught right away, but I have a pretty good feeling that these guys will be caught. You see, when these men stole from me, they underestimated me, but they also underestimated my God.

In December 2009, my car was stolen right out of my own driveway while I slept. The thieves only used it for joyriding, but God used it for His purposes. Out of every car on the block, the thieves chose my car -- the car that had over 5,000 gospel tracts and half a dozen Bibles in the back seat. The car was discovered by the police, abandoned at a neighborhood intersection. When I was brought in to inspect it for damages, I noticed one of the Gospels of John had been removed from the pile, and bent in half, as though it was being made to fit in someone's pocket. Never underestimate God.

Looking back on that situation, I see that God's hand was also in this pickpocketing incident. Three years ago, I gave myself a scare when I lost my wallet. Once I finally found it, I decided to put a few tracts in it so that if it ever was stolen, the thieves would get the gospel. So out of all the customers in that grocery store, I was selected to be a victim. Did these men really select me? Or was it divine providence that the one wallet they chose to steal was stuffed with gospel tracts? Could it only be coincidence that the chosen victim in this situation has been blessed with an uncanny ability to recall details, numbers, and events with impressive accuracy? What are the chances that this same victim is ready to prosecute and visit her trespassers in prison, armed with a Bible?

These two men (and a female accomplice, as I recently learned) may be wanted by the police, but at least one of them is wanted by God. God Almighty always actively pursues His elect. If it takes prison time to capture His sheep, so be it. The Word of God does not return void (Isaiah 55:11) and so this can only end up in one of two ways: these people repent, and God is glorified, or they reject the gospel, and God is glorified. End of story.

We don't want to underestimate anybody. The heart is wicked and there are hundreds of criminals walking the streets every day waiting to prey upon a trusting soul for the very purpose of exploiting her kindness in order to snatch her purse or wallet. However, those same criminals should never, ever, ever underestimate their victims. You just never know what kind of crazy, fanatical, lunatic Christians are running around, seeking to snatch your soul from the fire.

11 comments:

Elessar said...

what an awesome way to respond to being wronged!

Charlene said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jennifer said...

Thanks David and Charlene! Charlene, to answer your question, I don't find too many people fighting me on the idea of sovereignty too often these days because I've pretty much surrounded myself with reformed people. But yes, I do know of some who challenge the idea. Personally, I wouldn't want it any other way. To think that God is not 100% completely in control is scary!

Tom Gabbard said...

I recall the saying, "the devil is in the details".....No, God is in the details!

Great reminder.

Natasa said...

wow... I am amazed by your attitude... you could be mad about this situation... but instead you saw divine intervention...

Jennifer said...

Make no mistake, Natasa. I am angry, but the only way I've been able to keep it under control is by consciously adopting this perspective. I even had a strange feeling as I drove to the supermarket that I shouldn't go in there, but I ignored that thought and went in anyway. Obviously God was watching over the whole thing, (and was probably trying to warn me ahead of time). I'm in good hands.

Latisha said...

Praise God for all of it. Your perspective, the criminals getting "set up" by God, and your gift of communication. Always learning from you and taking notes!

Tish

Kurt Michaelson said...

Glad you're ok and that you were able to recall so much for the police and the manager of the supermarket.

I hope they are found and then each receive a bible to take with them to jail. Maybe one of those innocent or guilty tracts too. :-)

Charlene said...

Oops! Sorry about that! Wanted to add to my previous comment. This is a great testimony. Yes, God is good and He does pursue His elect! Not everyone is on board with God's sovereignty but the Bible is clear. Please let us know whatever happens with this whole situation.

Rebecca said...

Hi Jen,

I am really sorry this happened to you! It is a lot of money. Last year my purse got stolen from my backpack, in total I lost about $ 200. Not much in comparison to your loss. I pray that you will get the full amount back and that the thieves get caught and end up in prison.

Jennifer said...

Hi, Rebecca. Thankfully, I was not responsible for a single penny. I do not have any word yet on what, if anything, happened to those guys, if they were caught or not. But we know that God knows who they are, and I'm just waiting and expecting that He will use this for His glory.