A Fresh Start
Rats—he caught me! I got a sinking feeling in my stomach as the flashing lights appeared in my rear view mirror. Driving across Wyoming on that warm, spring day, the speed limit of 75 mph hadn’t been enough to satisfy me. After all, traffic was light and the roads were straight; why not try to shave some minutes off my ETA? When a patrol car suddenly appeared by the side of the interstate, my foot flew off the accelerator. But it was too late.
John 8:1-11 tells the story of another woman caught red-handed. Religious leaders dragged the woman before Jesus, asking if she should be stoned for adultery as the law of Moses stated. The woman stood alone, helpless and humiliated before the leering crowd.
“The person who is sinless should be the first to throw a stone at her,” Jesus announced. One by one the men slipped away. Finally, Jesus faced the woman. “Where did they go? Has anyone condemned you?” he asked. “No one, sir,” the woman answered. Then Jesus replied, “I don’t condemn you either.”
In my case, the highway patrolman approached my window and politely informed me that I had been going 83. After running a check on my vehicle and me, he handed over a written warning. What relief! I could have faced a stiff fine and a citation on my driving record; instead, the officer’s decision served to remind me of God’s mercy and forgiveness. And his final words paralleled Jesus’ instruction to the woman caught in adultery: “Go and sin no more.” The highway patrolman’s words conveyed the same message: “Go and speed no more.”
The One Year Women of the Bible (Tyndale House) pairs scenarios of contemporary women with the stories of biblical women (including the woman caught in adultery), gleaning encouragement and wisdom that we can apply to our own life journey.
Dianne Neal Matthews is a freelance writer and the author of four daily devotional books including Designed for Devotion (Baker Books), which won a 2013 Selah Award. She also writes for websites and blogs (such as CBN.com and FindingGodDaily.com), contributes to compilations (including Guideposts’ 2013 Mornings with Jesus), and teaches at writers’ conferences. To learn more, visit www.DianneNealMatthews.com or connect with Dianne through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn.