Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
By: Teresa Criswell
"To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified."
~ Isaiah 61:3 ~
From yesterday's devotional, I ponder the woman that encountered Jesus as she received her pardon from the sentence of death by stoning. I would like to wonder what became of her?
The touch of the gentle, strong hands of The Word made flesh; Jesus Christ. I sit here and wonder, "Was she grateful beyond her wildest imaginations?"
I imagine that never before seen love that overwhelmed her as He held her close to his chest. Gorgeous, attractive love forever changing her destiny. Can you imagine that moment in which Jesus perhaps wiped the dirt from her tear stained cheeks as she uncontrollably wept. Experiencing His unbelievable, indescribable mercy, He must have looked at her with those piercing eyes of pure, untainted, selfless love placing His hands under her chin with gentleness as He lifted her head. I can only imagine that for the majority of her life she had only seen the ground as she walked in seemingly constant shame. I would love to imagine that He said, "I am the lifter of your head, you can now freely go and love others the way I have displayed The Father's love toward you."
With the cloak of Christ that was wrapped around her; hiding her frail, naked body, I believe from that day on she had a different walk. She saw the path before her. It was all brand new to her. It was as though she truly "saw" for the first time. Imagine the market she passed through for years now she seeing with vivacious colors of the fruit and vegetables on display. I can even imagine she notices the gorgeously vast, endless sky beautifully revealing the majestic, glory of God.
Now imagine the following scene the day after her encounter with Jesus:
Morning came. She awoke. Yet, this time, there was no man sleeping by her side to fulfill the void within her heart.
She was awake...truly awake and aware of new life! This time she awoke with a smile of joyful, overflowing gratefulness.
She inhaled and exhaled on purpose, no longer holding her breath in shame. She rose up from her bed imagining she would have a new garment to wear. As she turned she noticed something that causes her to place her hand on her mouth in shock as she sees a beautiful white dress carefully draped over the stone chair. She was stunned, for the only garment that she seemed to ever wear was a heavy, black dress that revealed what she was known for; an adulterer. The dress she had worn long enough had reminded her of her life of mourning. Yet today her garment was forever different.
She ran to the stone chair and hurriedly placed the new dress on herself. She surprised herself as she giggled. She was taken back by the sound of her own laughter. The sounds of pure laughter ringing in her ears was a refreshingly yet foreign, delightful sound that came billowing forth with freeing power.
Her heart led her mind to the thoughts of yesterday. She thinks about this amazing man. A man like no other she had ever encountered. Her Jesus, who forever changed her life in history. She thought to herself, "No one had lifted my head like that before. I know what that word means now, the Word called Love. That's Him, He is love!"
Upon remembering, she dared with boldness to open the door to the world outside her home. She was okay...no matter what the onlookers would say or do, she experienced His love and that was all that mattered anymore.
As she stepped foot into the world outside her humble abode, she must have noticed the beautiful creation around her. She remembered how she saw the past in a seemingly gray tone before her encounter with Him. But today she sees everything in "technicolor"; the colors magificently beautiful and breathtaking.
As she walks by the people in her village, she hears them snicker and whisper with sarcasm, jealousy and disgust, "That's her, she's the one who deserved to die and that Jesus who calls Himself the Son of God, let her live. Look how she walks now. I can't believe she can lift her head so high. She is a whore, yet she acts like she is a virtous woman, HA! I wonder who got her that dress?" As they mockingly laughed, making fun of her.
I believe at that moment, she looked at them with eyes of love even in that moment. Like the Man she encountered, she smiled at them with compassion. They were shocked and insulted realizing that shame had no chance.
I would have to think that there were others who would look from side to side with caution to see if anyone was watching as they ran to her. They had to know as they asked her in desperation, "Why are you different?" In that very moment, with her mouth, she was able to reveal that she was redeemed, and she had to say so! She was able to have the opportunity to share as she might have said something like this, "I had an encounter with my Lord, He freed me from my death sentence..."
As she shared her encounter with Him, those that knew of her, wanted what she had. They had to have this life-altering encounter with Jesus, no matter what the cost.
This leads me to ask, "Lord, do those around me know that I have encountered You? Have I continued to lift my head, when You lifted it the first day I met you? Or, do I still walk in shame? Do I walk in Your freedom that You so lovingly provided? I want to be grateful as I display your love Lord, not just by my actions but also by my words of love. Help me Father God, let me walk in daily rememberance the day I encountered you.
Will the world run to Jesus by running to me as I display the freedom I have in Him?
I desire to be like her after her encounter with Jesus; forever changed by THE ONE WHO IS THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER!