The Moby Gym was full of nearly 5,000 staff last night as we kicked off the Conference! I tell you, there is not much greater than being in that gym with all those people singing Praise and Worship! Feels like a glimpse of Heaven!
The fun thing about the first night, is we are encouraged to bring our kids with us to the meeting for the kick-off. It was so sweet to see their faces of awe and wonder about what they were experiencing. Jason leaned over to Natalie and said, “Honey, every one in here loves Jesus.” I get so excited about the opportunity they are blessed with to be raised up in this environment. I pray and hope that God will use it tremendously in their lives through the years to draw them closer to Himself!
And as for me, I say, “WOW!” You ever feel like you go to church or a conference, and it speaks right to where you are! I can just feel the Lord pulling at my heart and showing me my areas of weakness in my faith. Today, our speaker, Chip Ingram (who holds a special place in my heart because I heard him as Pastor on a summer project years ago in Santa Cruz, CA) spoke about Lazarus in John 11. He pointed out the statement repeated by Mary and Martha (referring to Lazarus’ death), “Lord, if you had been here then this wouldn’t have happened.” WOW, how many times have I thought that very thing! Lord, if you had been here, I wouldn’t have had IBS, you would’ve taken away my vomiting throughout both pregnancies, difficult hurts and losses, etc.
I must say, I either have made it through those things or am making it through, and I am thankful. Yet, there is still something hurting in my heart. Still some distrust, if you will, in my confidence and security in my view of God. I think I realized today, I have a fear of pain! Having experienced pain, I guess I don’t want to go through it again. And it’s not just my pain, I see the pain of others too and I ache for them to have to go through some of the things of this fallen world! And yet, it’s like Chip said today, we want like 60 % brokenness, enough to be real, but we really just want the blessings! We want Him to be the problem solver, where He wants to be our Personal Savior! There is so much more than the pain or the problem at hand!
So, I am aware that God wants me to see that I can trust Him fully, believe Him, put my faith in Him completely. That I don’t need to fear pain. His plan is far bigger for me than I could ever try to manipulate on my own or desire for myself. And I want to see His face, I want to feel Him hold me, and trust Him above everything else.
How’s that for being vulnerable! 🙂