God's Protection from Thieves

The Ten Commandments provide a strong basis for resisting an attempted robbery in Central America.

By Rachel Crandell, Town and Country, MO

Categories: Abundance, Obedience, Safety

While traveling alone in Central America I had one of those experiences where the words of the Bible saved me. I was walking down a crowded sidewalk in a large city late in the day on my way to a hotel. I had on my backpack with my camera bag belted around my waist like a holster. I have been given many safety tips about women traveling alone. My usual practice when entering cities was to get off the bus and immediately take a cab to my destination. This was a good practice, but this time I decided to walk, as it was only a few blocks. All of a sudden, a young man came running toward me down the sidewalk, hit me hard in the shoulder, and knocked me backwards onto the ground. I felt like a turtle who couldn't get righted! He grabbed for my camera bag and yanked it repeatedly while I was lying on my back.

The first thought that came to me was, "Thou shalt not steal" (Ex. 20:15). In an instant I knew that since childhood when I first learned God's commandments to Moses in Exodus, that I had tried to abide by them. I was law-abiding. One thing the law does is protect. I knew God's law certainly would protect me right then and there. And not only would I be protected from theft, but that this young man would be protected from becoming a thief. He yanked, and I yanked back. He yanked, and I yanked back. All the while, I was knowing that God was in charge of this whole affair and that my obedience to the commandments was protecting me. Finally, he just gave up and ran off. Several other pedestrians had gathered to watch. A man gave me his hand and helped me to my feet. Nothing had been stolen.

Almost immediately, another young man came running by me, hit me in the shoulder knocking me to the sidewalk again and began yanking on my camera bag all over again. I had just experienced God's protection through my simple prayer, so I knew it would work again. I kept that same prayer, "Thou shalt not steal." After a lot more tugging and yanking, he also gave up and ran off. Meanwhile the crowd watching had grown larger. The same man lifted me up again. I headed for my hotel, which was very close. Nothing had been stolen. Even though those young men had been trying very hard to steal, they couldn't -- not while I was praying for them, acknowledging their right to God's protection from thieving! In my hotel room I noticed that the large metal ring that connected my camera bag to my belt was almost completely worn through by the force of their pulling on the bag. One more yank might have severed it. But that didn't happen. God's law was all-powerful.