At the beginning of this year, I joined a Care Group and I'm LOVING it. I've never been so comfortable with a group of people (some who I know well, some who I know somewhat and some who I've just met). It's been a wonderful time of sharing, caring and having fun.
One week we read John 8:1 - 11. This is the passage where the woman was caught in adultery and the Pharisees brought her before Jesus to condemn her. Jesus started writing in the sand and said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him throw the first stone." One by one, the Pharisees all left (some people believe that Jesus started writing down their sins and exposing them). After all the condemners were gone, Jesus said to the woman, "Where are they? Has no one condemned you?" The woman said, "No one, sir." Jesus said, "Then neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more."
We were to go off on our own for 15 - 20 minutes, reread the passage and then write down what God was showing us that we condemn ourselves of doing that separates us from Him and what Jesus would write in the sand for us. I've always been a skeptic of these quiet times because I've never had a huge moment where God has revealed Himself to me. These times would always discourage me and make me think that I'm not as spiritual as everyone else. Well, I went into a quiet room and read the story and then closed my eyes. I was totally sidetracked and thinking about something completely off track and then I heard/felt/sensed (whatever you want to call it) God say to me, "Don't be scared of me." What? Am I scared of God? I didn't think so before, but I realized that being vulnerable is scary. So, I quieted my spirit and God showed me that I condemn myself of:
1) being afraid I'll screw up
2) not thinking I deserve what He wants to give me (but He told me that no one does. It's called Grace)
3) thinking I'm not as spiritual as others, so why try anyway?
I then put myself in the place of the woman and Jesus was writing in the sand. I was REALLY there! I was no longer sitting in this room in this house. I was fully standing before Jesus (my hands start sweating just thinking about it again)! So exciting! I had my eyes closed and could hear Jesus in front of me writing in the sand. When He stopped, I took a deep breath and kind of opened one eye (peeking, like) waiting to see my sins written out before me. Instead, He had written,
I looked at Him and He winked at me. I have NEVER felt so much love as at that moment. We just continued to look at each other for awhile and then I opened my eyes. I couldn't even see for all the tears streaming down my face. I had no idea that I was crying. Man, that was a powerful moment. I NEVER want to forget that feeling. God really does love me just as I am.
Thirsty hearts are those whose longings have been wakened by the touch of God within them.
- A.W. Tozer