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Loss that is gain

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IN one brief period of several weeks there were a number of unfortunate incidents in my family. Our daughter's purse was stolen while she was on vacation. She wasn't carrying much money, but airline tickets and credit cards had to be replaced. Our son's car was stolen and vandalized to the point of being declared a total loss. While awaiting insurance reimbursement, he was driving our car and was rammed by a truck from behind so that our car was also declared a total loss and had to be replaced. We were very grateful our son was protected from major personal injury, but the demand to address our own personal loss -- loss of peace of mind, of joy, of composure -- remained.

It was not a bad thing at all, I reasoned, to lose complacency, apathy, indifference in regard to this whole subject of crime. It was not bad at all to become indignant enough about this imposition on my time, my thought, and my resources to really do something about it. And for me that meant to pray.

I realized in prayer that I couldn't be made to lose my confidence in God's unerring control; that I couldn't be made to lose sight of my own and everyone's true and secure status as the child of God or of the infinite resources with which God endows man. My prayer included an affirmation that my joy doesn't rest in any material thing but in the conviction that man is the loved of God, that he is safe in God's keeping, and that whatever God gives us can never be taken away. God gives such spiritual endowments as love, peace, wisdom, joy, integrity, and wholeness. These are the treasures in heaven that neither moth nor rust can corrupt nor thieves break through and steal, as Christ Jesus taught.1

My conviction that God made neither a criminal nor a victim -- neither a disadvantaged, alienated, drug-enslaved, or deliberately malicious man nor an unalert, careless, indifferent, helpless, or insensitive man -- could not be taken fromme, because it was a genuine, heavenbestowed treasure. In a profound way, affluence doesn't really consist of things that make one vulnerable but of virtues and qualities of character that make one invulnerable.

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