This past weekend, I attended the Women of Faith conference in Hartford. Again. Having gone many times, I go expecting. I expect a weekend away. I expect to enjoy the hotel. I expect to have fun. I expect to meet some new women standing in line for the ladies room. I expect to laugh. I expect to cry. I expect to be encouraged & renewed. I guess I expect a lot. And the weekend always delivers.
This year was no different. Except in one way.
Sure each speaker blessed me. The music was uplifting. I expected to hear something relevant & pertinent from each of these. That is why I come each year. I even expect that a fellow sojourner might say something to me that would be just what I need to hear. With all of this expectancy, there was still something I was not expecting.
During one of the breaks, I went for a walk. Alone. Well not exactly as hundreds of women were doing the very same thing. There, walking on that concourse, bumping & jostling with other women, weaving in & out of the crowd, I was talking to God about a situation in my life. I walked the loop of the concourse. I reminded God that I needed some guidance on a decision. Due to the fact that I was in a crowd, I truly did not expect this to happen….
God gave me an answer.
He spoke. Not out loud, but in my spirit, He brought His Word. A Scripture that had not been spoken at the conference yet the truth of that Scripture resonated & with that one Scripture, came the resolution of my situation.
I have thought about this all weekend. In the midst of that crowd, I would not have expected that God would speak to me. I would, however, expect it in the “silence”. This morning I am reminded of how many times the Lord met needs while “in the crowds”…..
In Matthew 4, Scripture tells us that large crowds followed Him. Yet in that crowd He healed those brought to Him those that “were ill with various diseases, those suffering from severe pain, the demon-possessed, those having seizures, and the paralyzed” (verse 25). They were each one person in the crowd.
In Matthew 8, we are told that a large crowd is following Jesus. A man with leprosy comes & kneels before Christ asking to be made clean. Christ reaches out, touches him & he is immediately healed.The leper was one man in the crowd.
In Mark 2, Jesus is in Capernaum. So many had gathered that there was no room neither inside or outside of the house. Yet four men, determined to have their paralytic friend, healed, lower him through the roof & the Lord heals him. He was one paralytic in the crowd.
Also in Mark 2, we see that Jesus is in the midst of a large crowd when he walks along side of Levi & says, “Follow me.” Levi was that one man in a crowd that is called to be a disciple.
In Mark 5, we are reminded of the woman who had been bleeding for twelve years. In the midst of a large crowd, she presses forward & touches Christ & instantly finds healing. She was one suffering woman in the crowd.
We can be that one in a crowd. Sure, God brings a corporate word each Sunday as we sit in church pews. But even in the midst of a crowd, He can speak to us individually, privately. He knows exactly where to find us.
Today I am reminded of when Jesus called Nathanael to follow Him. Jesus had already called Philip who in turn, went to find Nathanael. Philip brings Nathanael back to Jesus. When Jesus sees Nathanael approaching him, He identifies him by saying….
“As they approached, Jesus said, “Now here is a genuine son of Israel—a man of complete integrity.” (John 1:47 NLT).
“How do you know about me?” (verse 48).
Christ answers the question, “I could see you under the fig tree before Philip found you.” (verse 48).
He knows all about us.
He knows where to find us.
Even when we are one in a crowd.