It was a tough time, living in the heart of the city. Married two years, Josh and Maya decided to move from her mother's home in mid-town to a more upscale community. As both were college graduates, working full time, and without children, it was an ideal time to make their move.
After spending several weekends searching the classifieds for apartments and condominiums on the city's east side --- they settled for a three-bedroom condo. It was listed at a great price; and were able to get financing quite easily. Of course, this was nearly thirty years ago, when the real estate market was stable and booming.
The place was lovely. It had rich-looking hard wood floors, freshly painted and roomy. Ideal for the time they would start a family. Their unit was on the entrance facing North, consisting of a total of six units. The building housed several professional singles and couples who appreciated and watched over one another. The lake and parks were nearby and they enjoyed the scenery.
They felt extremely blessed to have good health, good employment, wonderful parents and friends. A young couple, in their mid-twenties, life was good. Also, by growing up in the church, they knew the importance of God, however, they had not yet 'sold out' to the Lord.
By the next year, Josh and Maya had become good friends with the couple living on the 3rd floor. They visited each others home and socialized. But, soon, their idyllic life took a turn.
One day, Josh and Maya returned home from work to find their place had been burglarized. The jewelry, gold plated serving and crystal pieces, as well as a television were stolen. The burglars used a crowbar to enter the front door, according to the police. Of course, the neighbors heard nothing.
It was a mysterious break-in, because the first floor security door was not tampered with. Was it an inside job?
After this initial break-in, they begin to pay closer attention. There was a little nervousness on Maya's part, but, they both figured it was a one time occurrence. Soon, they noticed the kindly elderly man next door had begun to house his two teen age grandsons.
It was later determined that these young men, around 15 & 17 years old, were involved in a gang. The smell of marijuana was often noticed, seeping through their door, continuously keeping the other residents on guard.
Two years from the initial break-in, another one occurred. A television, radio, and some more jewelry were taken. Another insurance claim was filed. Then, the company car used by Josh was stolen. What was going on?
By then, Maya was three months pregnant. She was still working, but, Josh was able to adjust his schedule as a route salesperson.
They began to call on the Lord for protection and read their word. Going about their daily routines, they believed all would be OK. Yes, the neighbors were quite vigilant in watching the building, but, truthfully, the neighborhood had started to change.
After their son was born, Maya stayed home for a couple of months, enjoying motherhood. But, when Josh lost his position as a salesperson, financial difficulties began. Maya returned to work, while Josh stayed home.
Things were quiet for a while, but approximately three years after the baby was born, their place was burglarized again. Each time, a deductible was required and their finances suffered by having to deal with the after effects of these break-ins. By then, they had lost much of their jewelry, trinkets, wedding gifts, and heirlooms. The stolen electronics were not replaced immediately. What was God trying to teach them?
Maybe to search their hearts, because, it wasn't about the material things lost or inconveniences that occurred, it was about their relationship with Jesus.
The Bible says in I Corinthians 11:28, “Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.”
So, despite their numerous difficulties, the Lord reigned.
Josh and Maya eventually had another child, moved to the suburbs, joined a great word and spirit-filled church and raised both sons in the admonition of the Lord. Josh and Maya stood on God's word, through marital highs and lows, health challenges, financial issues and teen-age problems.
Now, they are grandparents, drinking the cup of righteousness, and sold out to the Lord.
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