A Scam and a Prayer
"When Job prayed for his friends, the LORD restored his fortunes. In fact, the LORD gave him twice as much as before!" Job 42:10
Some of you know our business fell victim to a scam by a fake customer, "Sam Statler." We lost close to $14,000. Basically, a potential customer placed an order, and gave us a credit card which we processed. When the money from the credit card cleared our bank, we processed a wire transfer to a "freight forwarder" for the freight costs which is common place in our line of business as an importer. This practice is something we have done many times before without even a blink.
Several days after the wire transfer took place, the credit card company called to let us know the funds were being retrieved due to a possible fraud.
Possible fraud then turned into, "Yes, it was fraud. And the money is gone."
We were sick about it. Our hearts were in our stomachs as several of us sat in a room with blank stares, tear filled eyes and dry throats. Is this real life? Did this really happen to us? We were being honest and doing our job like we always do. What now?
All we knew to do was to pray for restoration, peace and wisdom. I felt overwhelmed by the Holy Spirit to pray for "Sam," the man behind the phone calls and emails. God didn't cause this to happen to us. We live in a fallen world with broken people. I feel like God allowed this to happen, because He knows we are praying people, and he knew we would pray for those stealing from us. He knew that we would pray for "Sam." He knows those taking what is ours need Him more than they need the money in our bank account.
We prayed God show "Sam" His love and His ways. We prayed for his soul. We prayed for direction for his life. We asked God to intervene and show His son, Jesus, to this man, this "Sam."
I have found myself praying several times since last week for "Sam." My heart breaks for people who don't know the love of my Father. I want to say to him, "If only you knew the provider of all, the one who loves you and will take care of you, the one who died for you, if you only knew him the way I do...."
We found out that nothing can be done, in the natural, about our financial loss. The bank said the money was siphoned out of the account as soon as it was placed there.
But, you know what? We serve a supernatural God not bound or limited by the rules of earth. God is the only reason we are in business, and He doesn't need man's money to make it work. We're trusting Him to return what was lost ten-fold, because that's what He does.
In the Bible, Job survived terrible misfortune--far worse than what David and I have endured, and God worked it all out for Job's good, because Job loved the Lord with all of his heart. God can do the same for us.
Most of all, we are trusting God heard our prayers of compassion for the person, "Sam," responsible for this swindle. We know God loves "Sam" as much as He loves us. "Sam" is one of God's children gone rogue. "Sam" is a guy Jesus died for on the cross. He deserves grace, forgiveness and redemption. And the most wonderful thing is God can redeem any person, even "Sam," and any story. I've seen Him do it time and time again. I've experienced Him redeeming me.
God has answered our prayers and given us His peace and assurance. Even after losing $14,000, I can still say He is good. He fights on our behalf. His love for us is deep and wide. He hurts when we hurt. And we are placing it all in His hands to work out. I can't wait to update this story one day with how He worked it all out for His glory.
It's during the trials of this life that God can shine. It's during the hard times He pulls us in close to his chest assuring us of a future filled with hope. It's during the times of despair God can sharpen us and make us more like Him. When Satan hands us evil, God turns it around for our good. The enemy goes around like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour, but He can't have us. He can't have our family. And he can't have our business. Amen and amen.
Father, we thank you for being Almighty, worthy of our praise. We praise your name. We praise you for your goodness, your mercy and your unconditional love. We ask you show mercy to us during this situation. We ask for your hand to be in the middle of everything we do. We ask that you reveal yourself to Sam in a mighty way and that the blinders of the enemy be removed from his eyes. We thank you for never leaving nor forsaking us. You are always so good. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.