An Act of Grace by Pastor Josh Larsen

mntnbk.gifMy friend and coworker, Josh Larsen, had his bike stolen from his garage last night.  He took the time to write the following meditation and present it to our young people in school chapel today as an illustration of how to respond biblically to trials, however insignificant they may seem.  I thought my readers might be encouraged and inspired through the thoughts.

10 Ways In Which The Stealing Of My Bike Was An Act Of Grace

1. The thieves had to walk almost all the way to the door between my garage and my house in order to take the bike. That door was unlocked. They could have walked in and brought serious harm to my family. God spared us from physical pain and from having more valuable items stolen.

2. This gives me an opportunity to rejoice that I have an abiding possession in Christ, who will be my treasure long after my bike has rusted and fallen apart. God has spared me from finding my hope and joy in my material, temporal possessions.

3. I recently had an opportunity to sell this bike and buy a newer, more expensive bike. Had I done so, I would now be out a lot more money than I am at present. God spared me from wasting my money.

4. This gives me an opportunity to practice that which I preach to teenagers on a regular basis. Had this not happened, I would not be able to say, “Follow me as I follow Christ.” God spared me from the futility of empty words.

5. People have endured such worse horrors for the cause of Christ, that it makes any complaining about the loss of a bike look like a six year old complaining about a splinter to a double amputee. God spared me from having to endure (at least at this point in my life) much more painful physical suffering to find where my heart truly lies.

6. We just moved into this neighborhood, which is considered by some to be a worse part of town than where we were living. God spared me from the dangerous, imaginary safety of the suburbs, which often results in people trusting in fences and police instead of finding their security in Christ.

7. If the thieves are caught, and if they are juveniles (which they probably are), they might actually end up coming to Inside Outside, which is a ministry in which I am involved that reaches out to juvenile delinquents in the city of Lakewood. If that happens, these thieves will hear about Jesus, and will have the opportunity to be forgiven of their sins and adopted by God as sons. If that happens, God will have spared the thieves from wasting their lives never hearing the gospel, and spending eternity in hell.

8. This will give me an opportunity to display Christ to the probation officers I know through Inside Outside, and may eventually result in them asking me about the hope that lies within me. If that happens, God will have spared them from never seeing anything different about Christians.

9. Every trial, according to the first chapter of James, when rightly endured by a Christian, will result in a greater maturity in Christ. In addition, God works all things – even insignificant things – together for the good of those who belong to Him. The ability to know that these two things are true is a gift from God. Thus, God has spared me from getting distracted with anger and missing an opportunity to see his loving, sovereign hand.

10. As I continue to follow Christ, I have been assured by him that deeper waters with much stronger currents lie ahead. After all, a stolen bike doesn’t really compare to a murdered son or a decade in prison because of one’s faith in Christ. This incident proved to be a very easy stepping stone. God spared me from experiencing harsher suffering without having had an opportunity to brace myself.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. It’s nice to hear Christ-centered honesty. Perhaps one of the greatest points of grace is the ability to recognize these things. Thanks for putting it down for us.

    Reply

  2. […] Josh Larsen ponders what wasn’t stolen.  Click here for his article. […]

    Reply

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