Lessons of Faith and Thanksgiving from a Stolen Car

There are some lessons that you hope you never have to learn. You know what I’m talking about. Those things that happen to “other people” that you are glad haven’t happened to you. We may try to deny them, but we all have ’em.

One of mine happened a couple of Sundays ago.

My family and I were getting ready for church. As we were about to leave, I went to start the car. I didn’t see my keys in the bowl next to the door, so I began to wonder what I did with them.

I worked the evening prior, so I wondered if I left my keys in my car. As I went outside to check my car, something was amiss.

There was a big empty space where another car used to be.

Yup. Stolen. Abducted. Appropriated. Bagged. Diverted. Embezzled. Filched. Hijacked. Kept. Kidnapped. Lifted. Misappropriated. Pinched. Plagiarized. Poached. Purloined. Ripped off. Robbed. Sacked. Shanghaied. Snatched. Swiped. (I’m not this clever.)

You never know how you will react when something like this happens… until it happens.

Obviously, I was upset with myself, because it became painfully obvious, due to the circumstances, that I must have left my keys in the door as I unlocked it to come inside the evening prior.

Yeah, I know.

We went through the gamut of emotions, and a harsh realization… if someone had our car AND our keys, they had access to our HOUSE and OTHER CAR. Not cool.

We called the police, and the officer quickly arrived. He took our info, but wasn’t able to give us much hope.

And yet, through it all, I felt a calm. I knew everything was going to be OK. And apart from God, I had NO REASON to think that way.

Some wonderful things happened in the aftermath…

  1. We prayed as a family. Really prayed. I don’t mean to imply that the other times we have prayed together were not authentic. But I was very intentional about praying for God to help us, and to do so in a way that would demonstrate to my kids that God is in control. And, of course, I need reminding at times as well.
  2. When I called the police back to get a case number for our insurance company, I was told to meet the officer a quarter mile up our street. He ALREADY FOUND THE CAR!! I raced out the door and met the officer that came to our home and another officer at an apartment complex nearby. There was the car… with the KEYS LEFT INSIDE. Looks like someone just wanted a sweet ride to a buddy’s house. The only residual effect to the car was some mud on the floormat.
  3. I got to witness to the officers. They got to hear that God is good. As this happened on a Sunday morning, one of them even joked that we had BETTER go to church after the events unfolded the way they did!
  4. When we found out that the car was found, I made sure that we prayed again as a family to thank God for taking such good care of us. I know I frequently forget to thank God for answering my prayer. I made sure we stopped to thank Him.

Now, Jamy and I both check the bowl next to the door for keys. Often.

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