Every day of your life is held in the mighty hand of God. Every moment of your future is securely protected by the One who knows everything. Even when the enemy’s intended harm touches you, God says that harm will be turned around and used for good. Even when fire comes in and destroys your dreams, God doesn’t even flinch because he always had beautiful plans for those ashes.
Oh, how we are loved. Oh, how we are held. Oh, how we are divinely directed to a future immeasurably greater than we could ever ask or imagine. And oh, how we really, really DON’T SEE IT RIGHT NOW.
You don’t see the “immeasurably more” God has aligned for you when you’re staring at what can’t possibly be enough right now. You don’t see how tightly you are held when your whole world seems to be spinning out of control. You don’t feel relentlessly loved when you struggle to even look at yourself in the mirror. You don’t feel divinely guided when you seriously don’t know what the heck you’re going to do next.
BUT, HONEY, YOU ARE.
There’s a future being written for you by the hand of God that goes so far beyond the difficulties of today that you won’t even be able to see this in the rear-view mirror. There’s a good plan for your life that miraculously takes the details of your “now”, and creates a “next” that you never saw coming.
This is what the finger of Jesus does … he writes a better story for you.
Have you ever thought about the time when Jesus knelt and drew in the dust with his finger? What he was doing and why he was doing it was never explained in scripture, but I’ve been studying and seeking to understand what Jesus was doing then, and what he is doing now.
The story is found in John 8, verses 3-11: “As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.
“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”
They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.
When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”
“No, Lord,” she said.
And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
What was Jesus writing in the dust? When asked about the sin of this woman, why would he stoop down and begin writing with his finger? When asked about her punishment, why would he begin writing again?
What he wrote was not revealed. Think about this, what if he was writing a new story for this woman? What if it was the finger of Jesus who wrote a story of her forgiveness, her redemption, and her totally new life from this day forward?
And what if he wants to write a new story for you too?
What if you don’t need to walk in guilt or shame for one more day? What if your struggle isn’t intended to burden you beyond this point? What if your addiction, your affliction, your condition, meets a line drawn in the dust at your feet where Jesus says, “this will be no more.” And what if this doesn’t get to be drug with you into what God has for you next.
The accusations ended right there for this woman. Jesus settled it. Her accusers all walked away and only Jesus was left. Jesus was left with this woman who still felt guilt. She still felt shame. She was still accusing herself. But then Jesus said, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”
Her next step was the first step into the future Jesus had written for her. It was the first step into a life without condemnation. The guilt was gone. The shame was lifted. Her life had been not only saved, but it had been redeemed of every wrong.
Honey, don’t you know Jesus is writing a story for you with his finger? He’s drawing in the dust, making plans that reach far beyond today’s problems. He’s writing it out on your behalf, drawing lines that declare this will not continue, and making a way for new things in your future.
Did the woman know what Jesus was writing? Did the accusers know what Jesus was writing? Because of their tradition, they must have assumed Jesus was writing her name and the sin she had committed. It was their law that anyone caught in the act of adultery must be brought to the temple gates and stand judgment. The sentence for this offense was death by stoning. The priest was to write down the law that had been broken and the names of the accused, often times, this was done in the dust of the temple floor.
So stopping to write in the dust in this situation was nothing new. But this was the finger of Jesus writing now. There’s tremendous power in that hand. Jesus is God made flesh. And we’ve heard about the finger of God writing before. Where was that? Do you remember? It was the law. The 10 Commandments. Exodus 31:18 “When the Lord finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two stone tablets inscribed with the terms of the covenant, written by the finger of God.”
And remember what the accusers of this woman said to Jesus, “The law of Moses says to stone her.” It was God’s finger that had written, “Thou shall not commit adultery”, and clearly this woman was guilty. But now, God’s finger is made flesh in Jesus and he is rewriting her entire future. A future no longer limited by her past. A future reaching beyond her sin. A future made possible only by the grace and mercy of a loving savior who said THIS WILL NOT BE THE END OF YOUR STORY!
And he says that for you too. What you did, what happened to you, what you went through, this will not be the end of your story. Romans 8:1 “So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.”
This is what Jesus was writing in the dust. Not her sin and her guilt. He was writing that she belonged to him. He was writing his name over her transgression, and her future filled with hope.
Jesus is saying to you today, “my girl, there is no condemnation for you because you are mine. I’ve rewritten your story. I’ve changed the rules for you. What was impossible has been made possible. All that has held you back before will not pass the line I draw here today. This ends here, and your story goes on.”
This woman was sure her life would end that day with the writing of her name and her sin. Instead, everything changed that day when the finger of Jesus wrote something totally different. I wonder what she did with her life from that day forward. I wonder what freedom and forgiveness she must have walked in. I wonder how many other adulterous women she helped overcome their guilt and shame and live free from their own sin.
And I wonder what you will do with a life that has been radically changed because instead of condemnation, you have received the story of a life that continues with an unlimited potential. Who will you help now? How will you use your story? What freedom will you walk in today because the finger of Jesus has drawn some lines on your behalf, and you won’t be moving forward with that burden for one more day.
Jesus has been writing in the dust for you, and it’s the story of a life that is immeasurably more than you could ever ask or imagine! All you have to do is receive it and partner with him in doing life different.
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