Sep 5, 2012

Oh, How God loves us!

Recently, I felt an overwhelming desire to attend a crusade. "What an incredible opportunity! How often can a believer witness others accepting the biblical message of the Gospel on such a large-scale?" I thought as my Pastor spoke about the upcoming event during one Sunday service." I strongly recommend that you attend at least one crusade during your life." He urged. Then, he proceeded to recount memories from his first Christian crusade. "Perhaps, I should attend." I thought. "After all, I have been calling myself an Evangelist lately."

Soon after returning home from church, I sat at my computer and searched online for more information about the event. Right away, I noticed that my favorite Christian bands were scheduled to perform. What's more, the entire event was free! "I'm going!" I thought.

As the next few months passed, I encouraged my young son and husband to attend the crusade with me. My heart grew with excitement each time my son and I visited the Harvest Crusade website  http://www.harvest.org/. I couldn't wait!

On the day of the event, my husband, our youngest child and I packed our car with sunblock and baseball hats. We left hours before the gates were expected to open. I wanted to be certain that we would get seats.

Harvest Crusade 2012
We were right to arrive hours before the event began. Long lines of eager believers and unbelievers waited to enter the stadium. For hours, we waited patiently, sometimes impatiently in the hot sun. I passed the time imagining that we were all eagerly waiting to enter the gates of heaven. At 4:15p.m the gates opened.

After wandering around for 15 minutes, we took our seats, off to the left of the stage and under an awning. We still had another hour and a half to wait before the event would begin. To pass the time, I looked around the stadium. I noticed that the outside temperature had remained warm and comfortable, even as the sunshine turned to starlight. I also prayed silently. Next, my husband and I enjoyed eating polish sausage dogs while our young son devoured two regular hot dogs.  Then, in the moments just before the event started, I shared my personal testimony with the couple sitting to my left. Time passed quickly!

Soon, the first Christian artist began to play. I had never heard of this band. Yet, I tried to sing along as the worship lyrics appeared on the stadium sized television screen. Then, after three or four songs, the next band began to perform. Once again, several unfamiliar songs! Some people sitting around my seat tried to sing along, while others stood in silence, arms raised to heaven. Could they have been waiting for just one familiar worship song too?

Suddenly, a third and more well-known band took the stage. "Certainly, I'll know their songs." I thought. But, the first two songs were unfamiliar to me. By now, I figured that I was ultimately there to worship God. So, once again, I sang along to the notes of the song the best I could.

Suddenly, a new song began to play. Within the first few notes of this song, I felt my heart leap with joy. A familiar melody! Others must have recognized the song too, because soon and in almost in complete unison, the stadium echoed with thousands of voices singing praise to God. Such perfect harmony!

Then, that same warm wind carried the sound of our voices singing the words, "Oh, how He loves us so. Oh, how He loves us. How He loves us so." The melody flowed through me as my eyes welled with tears. Simultaneously, the giant sized Angel's Stadium sign caught my eye. As I sang, I started to wonder if real angels in heaven could be singing along too." Overwhelmed, the tears rolled down my cheeks. I wiped the tears from my cheeks and turned to my right to look at our young son. I noticed that he too was sharing an intimate moment of worship with God. Quickly, I grabbed for my camera and did the best I could to capture the moment on film. Wow!

A few days later, I found myself reminiscing over the entire event.  Surprisingly, I realized that my favorite moment of the entire night wasn't the moment that I had expected. I had thought that witnessing thousands of lost and hurting people accepting Jesus Christ into their hearts would forever refine my heart. But instead, my favorite moment occurred the second I first heard thousands of voices singing a song of worship to my Father in Heaven! Oh How He deserved to hear such praise! And Oh, how He loves us so!

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below! To read this author's personal testimony please go to: http://dlouyoung.blogspot.com/p/store.html
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