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. So you also must be ready.” Matthew 24:43-44a
It was a theft of Biblical proportions. My wife Judy and I were visiting with a couple of friends, Jim and Kathy, who attend our church. Jim told us a story that just begged to be written about. Every year they travel down to Florida and do the snowbird thing for just a week or so. I remember last year was one of those years that nothing seemed to go right. As I remember they said it was cold, rainy, and well, pretty yucky. This year promised to be a bit better. The weather cooperated but then there was this problem with the neighbors.
Toward the end of the week, Jim made a trip to the local Publix and picked out two big, thick juicy steaks and they weren’t the cheap stuff either. Well, anyway, it was getting supper time and Kathy stayed in the condo while he headed out to the grill to cook the steaks. Now, I’ve tasted Jim’s steaks and he is one of those guys who “has the touch.” I can only imagine the anticipation as the steaks sizzled their way to perfection. Gently poking and prodding them (some would say coddling) he watched over them like a mother bird watches her nest. Soon they were done to perfection.
Jim then gently took the steaks off the grill and then just as gently laid them on the waiting platter. He turned around, just for a moment, just for a few precious moments, to cover the grill. When he turned back around, he saw it—or rather them. In those few, short moments, two raccoons who were apparently waiting in the bushes rushed over, grabbed the steaks, both of them, and took off. All Jim saw were two raccoons, two wagging tails and his two steaks, his two precious steaks, hanging from their mouths. He was in shock. He was outraged. Worse than that…he was left with an empty plater.
Well, there wasn’t much he could do besides go back inside to face Kathy. So, Jim carried the empty platter back to the condo and tried to explain what had happened. She couldn’t believe it, but being the kind person that she is, she was understanding. Her now growling tummy, who had been anticipating one of Jim’s juicy steaks, was not so understanding. It seemed to say, “What else you got, bud?”
Well, the answer was another trip to Publix and chicken for supper. I’m sure Jim likes chicken, Kathy probably likes chicken, I would imagine even the thieving raccoons like chicken but let’s be honest—chicken isn’t steak and certainly chicken is not a nice, thick, perfectly cooked steak. This whole story is enough to make a grown man cry and I think it did—while laughing so hard when Jim told me this tale of woe.
So, who would have thought it? Who would have thought that two raccoons could steal two steaks…right in the middle of a condo complex? Who would have thought they could have pulled the heist off in just a few short seconds? It just proves that anything can happen…any time and when you least expect it. You always must be ready.
Speaking of ready, are you? The Bible talks about a time when Jesus, the same One who was born that first Christmas morning, the same One who performed all kinds of miracles, the same One who allowed Himself to be nailed to a Roman cross and die there and yes, the same One who came back to life three days later (that’s Easter, remember?), that same Jesus is going to come back to earth and take His followers back to heaven with Him.
Does that sound a little too strange to believe? Well, if I’ve learned anything it is when a man can predict His own death and resurrection and then pull it off—well, you just must go with it. The Bible says that when Jesus comes back, and He will, He will come like a thief in the night—faster than two raccoons stealing two steaks right off the platter. I’m sure if Jim had any idea, he would have been a little more cautious—a little more ready. Maybe the story today has sparked your interest in this man called Jesus. Go ahead and Google Him and His story…after all, His story is history. Got questions? Find a Jesus follower, and ask or better yet, ask Jesus’ Father. How? That’s called prayer. You will find that He has all the answers—after all, He’s got this. Bro. Dewayne