I was tired, hungry and had no money. I was frustrated with life in general. As I was driving down the road, I saw a car stopped along the roadside with a man standing behind it. I pulled over for some reason, I don't know why - maybe to help. As I started to get out of my car, I looked down at the .22 rifle I had in the car with me ... maybe I had intended to go hunting. For some reason, I grabbed the gun, went back to the guy in the car and robbed him at gun point. He only had a little money on him, but I took it.
If I left him there, he would surely stop some one, call the police and I wouldn't get very far. Without thinking what I would do next, I decided to force the man to go with me -- a hostage. As we left his car I noticed his own gun, a handgun, in his car. I decided I would take it too. It would be easier to hold on him as I drove than the long gun.
As we drove, the reality of the trouble I was in began to sink in. I began to feel I should let the man go and give him His gun back. As we were driving, I began to unload His revolver and dump the bullets on the floor on my side of the car. As I did so, he grabbed the gun from me managing to get one of the bullets too and began trying to load the gun. Having decided I was in big trouble already, the thought flashed through my mind to just give up and let him have the gun. But he was scared -- he might shoot me! He had every right to shoot me, given the fact that I had just robbed him and abducted him at gunpoint.
We struggled. I should have made him drive! Eventually I managed to get the revolver away from him as I drove and found a place to pull over. By this time I was feeling scared and quite bad for what I had done to the man. I got out of the car, expressed my apologies and gave him his unloaded gun back. I asked him to give me time to get away not to call the police right away (though I knew he wouldn't wait). For some reason, I decided to strike out on foot.
I was still hungry and thirsty. I bought a large 2 liter bottle of "Swig" orange soda and began walking down the road. By this time the man I had robbed had had enough time to call the police and give them a detailed description of the man who had robbed him and abducted him at gunpoint. I expected a police car to pull over at any moment, arrest me, and throw me into jail. I was guilty and I knew the law could come down on me at any time. Knowing this was inevitable, I made little attempt to hide. It would have been useless. My life as I had known it was over. I was filled with guilt and a certain expectation of judgment.
Still the police had not come and I was hungry. I went into a supermarket, bought a ham and cheese sandwich at the deli counter and just strolled down the aisles. I continued to wonder why the police never came. I lost track of time. I lived with the expectancy and dread of the law's rightful judgment to come down on me.
I don't know when or how, but at a certain point, the thought occurred to me that maybe the police had not come because -- maybe the man that I had robbed had not called the police! Maybe he had decided to wait to file charges! Maybe he had decided to have mercy on me and forgive me! I had to find this man!
As I rounded the corner in a half-dazed state I ran headlong into a shopper. Blurting out an apology, I looked up into the face of the very man I had robbed! Our eyes met and it was as if time stood still. What would He say? Was it true? Had he not filed charges? Had he decided to wait before invoking the judgment of the law?
His eyes gave the answer. Breathless wonder filled my very being! I was filled with overwhelming gratitude toward the man who was willing to forgive me, the man who had robbed him and taken him hostage at gunpoint. My debt toward him was huge and I determined to humble myself and ask his forgiveness and do what ever he asked to make restitution. I decided that If possible, I would work for him as an employee -- or whatever. After all, I owed my freedom to him. I would make it my business to never again to do anything against this man again - or against the law.
"Please forgive me" I blurted.
I awoke with these words: "Where are your accusers? Go and sin no more."
The Wonder of God's Forgiveness!
The story above is based on an actual dream that I had. I awoke from that dream filled with wonder and thankfulness at God's forgiveness.
A woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus. He said to her accusers, who were ready to kill her by stoning, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." Being convicted by their conscience, the accusers began to leave. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."
This woman was guilty and could have been rightly judged according to the law and she knew it. Yet Jesus forgave her. How do you think she felt at that moment?
What if, when the robber met the man he had robbed in the grocery store, the conversation has gone like this:
Man robbed: "I am offering you forgiveness."
Robber: "Forgiveness for what? I didn't do anything to hurt you. Give me a break! I was hungry!"
What do you think the man robbed would do in this case?
Have you come to a place of recognizing that God is the eternal law giver and you have broken His law? Have you ever lied (even once), stolen (the value is irrelevant), committed adultery (God considers lust to be adultery of the heart), killed (hatred is considered murder by God)? These are just four of the Ten Commandments! Be honest, you are guilty of breaking God's law. Without His forgiveness, you will not be saved but will be judged and found guilty.
In the case of the woman caught in adultery, Jesus did not condone her sin. He did however offer her forgiveness if she would change her ways, telling her to go and sin no more.
Do you desire to experienced the breathless wonder of God's forgiveness? Are you sorry for sinning against God? Are you willing to repent of your sin and follow Him as He has instructed in the Bible? If you are, you can know the wonder of His forgiveness!
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