Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Restoring the Stolen - Martin Wiles

The LORD says, "I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you.” Joel 2:25 NLT

The unsealed envelope lay in my teacher’s mailbox, begging to be opened.

The week that school started back carried more drama than I cared to relive. The events began early Sunday morning when my daughter’s house was hit by bullets from a drive-by shooting. Luckily, she nor my grandsons were injured.

Later the same day, after going by the school to put a few things in my classroom, I pulled up to the gas station for a little fuel. After swiping my debit card and entering my PIN number, the screen returned to the opening message. A trip inside, I thought. As I waited in line, I noticed motioning for me to return to the car. I did. My wife had our bank account pulled up on her phone. The balance? Zero.

I suppose the crook soon found out they had hacked the wrong account. Spending $82 dollars doesn’t take long—and it only took them three transactions. But it was more painful for us. I needed gas, and we needed a few staples and groceries to get us by until payday.

Mom offered to buy me a few dollars’ worth of gas, along with milk, sugar, and pop tarts. The next day at our first In-Service meeting, I shared our recent dilemmas. Fellow teachers and staff members offered their prayers and support.

Later that day, after most of the meetings were over, I checked my mailbox and found the unsealed envelope. Inside was $82 dollars in cash. No note. No explanation. No name. Of course, that’s what we do around our school. We replenish what the enemy attempts to steal—just as God, through Joel, told Israel He would do for them if they turned from their disobedient behavior.

In my case, I hadn’t been disobedient, but God works even when the hard times aren’t a result of known sin. He loves to put us in situations where we have no way out so we can develop complete trust in His sovereign care. I had no idea whom to thank, so I just thanked the entire school—and, of course, God.

God’s hands aren’t tied by the enemy’s work. He is more than able to defeat anything Satan throws our way. And when we respond correctly, He’ll teach us to depend on Him even more—especially when we have seemed to have reached the end of our ropes.

Trust that God will restore what the enemy attempts to steal.

Prayer: Father, we thank You that no matter how strong the enemy’s tactics are that Yours are stronger still.

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