“But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.” Mt. 24:43

Shards of glass crunched under my feet as I approached the back door. The broken window pane closest to the doorknob puzzled me. Using my undeveloped teenage brain cells, I concluded Mom had locked herself out of the house and needed to break the glass and unlock the door. I walked in with caution, calling for my mom, and noting every kitchen drawer was opened. I wondered what she was looking for. Every drawer in the dining room – open as well. In fact, the contents of each drawer in the house were open. Poor Mom, always loosing or forgetting something. At last, an epiphany: this wasn’t Mom’s doings. We’d been robbed!

I screamed for my sweet mama. Where was she? She didn’t answer. I ran to the bus stop and gathered some courageous friends. We grabbed coke bottles and sticks and charged into the house, ready to rescue my mom. (She might’ve been tied up in a closet, right?) An all out search left her nowhere to be found. We headed to a neighbor’s house, who quickly dialed the police. Within moments they pulled in our driveway. I tried to escort them in but they made me return to the neighbors. At last, mom pulled up to the house. Her face turned white and she shook with fear. Yes, we’d been burglarized.

Mom never learned to drive and stayed captive to our home unless a friend rescued her for a day of shopping. The thief must’ve cased the joint to know the house was empty and taken full advantage of the opportunity. All prescription drugs were missing. The thief knew what he wanted, tore the house upside down until he found his gold mine, and left.

The robber escaped with more than drugs that day. He swindled our security, leaving us victims in our own home. No security system, no lockboxes or vaults, just unguarded suspects for a thief who looted and left.

Jesus exhorted believers to be prepared for His coming. No one knows the day or the hour of His return. Yet, we are to watch and be ready. As a thief in the night, He will return to take all who belong to Him. The world will be as unsuspecting as a teenage girl approaching an empty house. However, there will be no victims – only unprepared and unsuspecting “avoiders” of a warning issued throughout the ages.

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