It was 2004 close to the end of the year. An encounter weekend (for those who do not know what that is, it was a weekend where we dealt with our lives – past and so forth).
Anyway, it was after a session of teaching and we were all standing there while the song “Magnificent” was being sung. I was standing right in front, I remember it well. As we were in that ‘worship mode’ I heard the words “Step Forward”. Now I am not in the habit of making a fool of myself (in fact I would do everything to avoid being a fool). And I look around me to see if anyone was addressing me. I mean I was standing in front and all. If I step out of the line I will be noticed. Anyway after what seemed like a real long time, I decide okay what can go wrong if I do a small step forward.
I step and as I step its almost as if I went somewhere or connected to something. I cannot explain it, but I was in front of God (The Father) and I hear three words…..”I forgive you”.
Simple hey. Now I was a christian for about 6 years before then already. One would think that is elementary things and why on earth would God go to all that trouble to simply tell me those three words (I wonder that myself). But though it had meaning then, when I sit and think back on the things God said and did, well they have more meaning and depth to them now.
At that time, I had just broken up with a girl, and just before that a broken engagement with the previous women. My life was pretty much a mess. Lets just say that with a whole lot of other things made me realise the state of where I was in relation to ‘perfection’. Far, far, far away from perfection that is. I think at that stage I had just reasoned that that is what life must be.
So when God says to me I forgive you, its not just what I knew intellectually until then. We all know God forgives and that He loves us. I am talking about the real forgiveness experience. The fact that He knew everything that I had done and messed up in, and was saying son I know, but its okay. I want to be with you or rather I want you to be with me. And there is a marked difference from having it told to you rather than reading it.
I suppose I am one of those people that needs constant forgiveness. I always seem to put my foot into it in some way or another. I am what one would call an experiential learner.
Well when that happened I broke down, and at that time I don’t think I could handle it. But you know when I walked away from that weekend, my life had change, a real turning point. Up until then I don’t think I really experienced forgiveness. People have told me they forgive me, but you know the actions were not always reflective of that.
It set me free and at the same time at that very moment there was a familiar knowing of Him. It as if I could sense His ancientness (if there is such a word). Like I was connecting to the power source of the universe. I can’t accurately put the experience into words.
Since then I can’t say I have messed up any less times, I never walked out from that perfect either. I just walked out and still sometimes have to remind myself that its okay, He is okay with who and where I am. He knows, but still wants me to be there with Him.
Sometimes I forget that. I hope you will realise it too, my prayer is that people find that in God as well.