Three weeks ago, someone stole my lovely carbon fibre, lightweight, Boardman mountain bike from outside my front door. I had taken a quick rest downstairs before I put the 20 bikes back safe in the garage for the night. Those 20 bikes I have, are either customer’s ones I am repairing, or ones I am doing up to sell. As I returned to put them away, I realised the most valuable bike in the collection had gone. I immediately put up a feature on my Next-door website, contacted the police and checked to see if any of my neighbours had CCTV on their front door. It is rare that people in our road have things stolen. Sadly, no one had seen the bike thief, no one had CCTV and the police were much too busy to chase up my property that should have been securely locked.

I am rather sad about it and have, since that time, rehearsed what I should have done. I dream of seeing someone riding it and me chasing after them to get it back. It could possibly be sold for £500 when I have compared similar bikes on eBay but thinking about it like this doesn’t help. I am now trying to do what the scriptures say, which is to give thanks in all circumstances (1 Thess 5.16) and realise that all things work together for good for those who love God.I have started thanking god for the fact that it was my bike that was stolen and not a customer’s. I have thanked him for one year’s enjoyment I have had from the bike on the wonderful trails around where I live in Henley. It has been a pleasure to ride such a lovely bike. I was given this bike, so I have thanked him that I have not spent big money on it. I think I have spent around £50 upgrading a few parts to keep it going. I have spoken out my forgiveness to whoever stole it and prayed they would be able to use the bike regularly and it would be a blessing to them.

Can I say, like the verse above, that this situation is working for good? Well, that is an interesting one. Since I posted on my next-door neighbourhood app, dozens of people have asked if I have got it back and talk about the way they coped with having things stolen. One neighbour has called a few times as I have been mending the bikes to chat because she knows she has to forgive people who have damaged her. My example of forgiving the person who stole my bike has been a good talking point. Since the theft, all my bikes are much more secure now. They are never left unattended. A cycling enthusiast has come along and given me the loan of an even lighter, smarter mountain bike that I can use until I move. What a blessing. Good is coming out of great disappointment.

Are you facing a set of very difficult circumstances? Can I encourage you to try and recite this wonderful scripture from Romans 8.28 All things work together for good for those who love God. We may not see it immediately, but behind the scenes, God is at work to bring ultimate benefit and blessing to us. Try giving thanks as 1 Thess 5.16 encourages us to do, and as well as forgiving, pray for God’s blessing on those who may have upset or harmed you. These things seem so counterculture but bring peace and joy when there appears to be no good reason for it.

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