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Robbed

/ 10:39 AM November 24, 2013

I was in elementary grade when I experienced robbery at home. No one was hurt. The robbers may have sprayed the house with something to make us all sleep soundly because no one woke up to any sound coming from downstairs. It was only in the morning when we saw our kitchen in shambles, plates and utensils scattered and food all over the table. The robber(s) had a good time eating! We lost some valuable stuff including my collection of gold, silver and bronze school medals that were hung on the wall. More than the worldly goods we owned, that was the most valuable possession I had and their loss hurt the most.

Fast forward to more than four decades after specifically last Monday, Nov. 18, at past 9p.m. Someone entered my daughter’s bedroom and ran off with all my jewelry and a laptop. She failed to close the jalousies and the robber slashed the screen and took down two glass blades so he could force his way in.

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All I could do was bend down and say aloud “Oh my God!” I was shocked beyond thinking. This was something I never expected to happen to me again after all these long years.

I know in my heart that bad events like this are not from God but when you are in the midst of devastation, you can’t help but shake your head. Can robbers still be saved by God’s mercy? It’s difficult to comprehend but in faith and even through my hurt I have to remember that Jesus provides both mercy to sinners and justice to victims.

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My prayer is two-fold: Forgive the robbers, Lord, but prick their conscience and, second, please vindicate me.

It is not so much about the things I’ve lost. I don’t have any jewelry left but I never really had a lot. My laptop is gone and so are all my work files, but with the help of my teammates, I can still reconstruct and I know my company will provide me support with the purchase a new one.

But it is the feeling that I’ve been violated that makes my stomach churn. Someone was watching my activities and what I’ve been doing all this time. He or they know when I would leave home and where those valuable things are. Why weren’t the other things in the house taken? It could just be someone who is familiar with my house and knows my routine.

For the next three days, my daughter and I struggled with fear and anxiety from the incident. And then we lifted our spirits to reflect on what God may have wanted us to learn from the incident and how we need to move forward.

What lifted our spirits is the sense of gratitude we can only direct to God. The robbery took place early evening, not dawn as other robberies usually happen. We were not at home. Thank God! It would have been more perilous if the robber entered my daughter’s bedroom with her sleeping soundly.

That night, we were in a prayer meeting that usually ends at 8:30p.m. and with travel time, we would normally arrive at past 9p.m. But that night, our prayer meeting lasted unusually longer. I was fidgeting, ready to go home when at 9:30p.m. we were still in the venue. We arrived home 10:30p.m. Thank God! It was horrifying to think what would have happened if I arrived at my usual time of past 9p.m. and I encountered the robber inside the house.

My spiritual adviser told me something that also awakened my spirit of gratitude: What happened can be a wake-up call to be more careful and adopt stricter security measures in my house. There could be a bigger incident in future that could catch me flat-footed if I don’t secure my home in a better way. Thank God!

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Despite what happened, I still stand up for Jesus as my Protector and Savior. My daughter and I remain faithful to His love and mercy and we move forward with greater dependence on His wisdom to tell us how to better secure the home He gifted us.

What about the robber? My case is now a police matter but personally, I leave him in God’s hands. “Every one of us will have to give an account of himself before God.” —Romans 14:12

If you are a victim like me, choose to let God do the restoring instead of acting in vengeance. I know God will restore all damage done to me.

The Lord promises: “I will repay you for the years which the locust has eaten, the thief has stolen, and the sinner has ruined” (Jl 2:25). And when the Lord repays, He doesn’t do it halfway. He restores far greater than we could ever ask or imagine (Eph 3:20). Amen! I truly claim that.

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