May 27, 2015

How God Loves Us All!

      One day, I felt an overwhelming desire to attend a crusade. My Pastor had spoken about such an event during one Sunday service. 

       So, after returning home from church, I sat at my computer and searched online for local events. Right away, I noticed that my favorite Christian bands were scheduled to perform at an upcoming crusade not too far away. "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 online website. Soon, I couldn't wait to go!

     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. Long lines of eager participants waited to enter the stadium. For hours, we waited patiently, sometimes impatiently in the hot sun. At 4:15p.m the gates opened.

      After wandering around for 15 minutes, we took our seats, off to the left and under the awning. We still had another hour and a half to wait before the event began. 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 Travis 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. It was her first time at a crusade too. Just one week prior, the young woman had surrendered her heart to God! Wow! Time passed quickly as we excitedly spoke about our love for our Savior!

       Soon, the first Christian artist began to sing. I had never heard of this band. Yet, I tried to sing along as the worship lyrics appeared on the stadium sized television screen. I was silently hoping for just one familiar worship song.

       Suddenly, a third and more well-known band took the stage. Within the first few notes of the next 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. Perfect harmony as a warm wind carried the sound of our voices. "He is jealous for me. He loves like a hurricane. I am a tree. Bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy....Oh, how He loves us so. Oh, how He loves us. How He loves us all." The melody flowed through me as the tears began to roll down my cheeks. I wiped the tears and turned to my right to look at my youngest 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 burn in my heart. Instead, my favorite moment was much simpler. Hundreds of voices singing a song of worship to our Father in Heaven! 

To read how I first surrendered my heart to Christ, please click here:
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