Tuesday, October 03, 2006

A Holy Moment

Last Friday Sept, 29th I went with a bunch of friends to see Anne Graham Lotz, Billy Graham’s daughter speak at The Just Give Me Jesus revival event that was being held here in Toronto. It was an evening event and it was an opportunity for all the women to bring their friends and associates to hear the gospel the first night. The arena was practically full with over 19,000 women and a scattering of men filling the pews. Anne herself is a prolific speaker and the anointing that is on her father is definitely on her. She was bold as she presented the gospel and talked about Jesus. It is easy for those of us who have heard the gospel message to tune out and yet she has a way of weaving in new truths in the gospel stories. But then again, isn’t that really the amazing thing about God’s word that it is living an active and can speak to old and new believers! What hit me though was something that happened near the end of the event as she gave an altar call, inviting people to come down and receive Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Several women came down the aisles but at one point it appeared as though some people were leaving, probably wanting to get out of the stadium to beat the congestion. Anne noticing this, spoke up and said very wisely ‘can I encourage those of you who are leaving to stop and stay till the end, this is such a holy moment and would you sit and just cheers those who are coming down the aisles as a sign of encouragement to them.’ She was right, this was a holy moment, with streams of people heading down to the front till there was no space. I have no idea how many came down but it had to be over 1,000 people either recommitting their lives or giving their lives to the Lord. It is not often that we have the privilege of seeing so many make a decision for Christ and it was a special moment to cherish as we cheered old and young alike with our claps as they came down the steps. The clapping would subside and then another round of clapping would start up again. This went on for several minutes as more and more women, some coming by themselves others with their friends. It was an awesome sight to see and I couldn’t help but think, how the angels, how the saints in heaven must also be cheering on these new ‘family members’. And yet in all of this, I thought to myself isn’t it just like us to miss God’s ‘holy moments’ because we are so preoccupied with our own agendas. We are so concerned about self preservation or inconvenience or we are so focused on our own needs that we miss out divine moments to encourage and build up others and in essence we miss out on God’s blessings all because we are consumed with our own selfish desires. It was a stark reminder to me, to keep my spiritual eyes open so that I do not miss these holy moments. But it also served to remind me to take time to soak and rest in the Lord and to treasure such ‘holy moments’. To not feel rushed because of external pressures but to truly taste, savour and receive all that the Lord wants to give us before we ‘move on’ to the next season! In a society that is so performance driven, the hardest thing to do is sit still. Someone once said it takes more strength to do nothing than it does to do something. I concur with that especially given my own nature to ‘do’. But in this month of ‘silent/sabbatical rest’ I am discovering more and more the joy of resting in Him without feeling guilty. There is after all a time to be Martha and a time to be Mary.

Richard Foster in his book Celebration of Discipline says that loneliness reflects inner emptiness while solitude is about inner fulfillment. As I ponder what it means to have ‘inner fulfillment’ I suspect it has more and more to do with a deep seated satisfaction and contentment in the Lord regardless of what is going on in the external environment. It is abiding in Him in such a way that our personal worries or the worries of the world do not encroach and overwhelm us. Rather, we leave them at the foot of the cross so they do not weigh us down. I can’t help but think that that inner fulfillment is tied very much to God’s glory as I recall the words from John Piper ‘God is most glorified when we are most satisfied’---may it be so Lord in my life and in the life of all who are followers of you Jesus, that as we each pursue the callings You have given to us, may Your name be so glorified because we are experiencing daily satisfaction in You regardless of the tension of living in this world but not being of it!May it be that through this process of reflection, of solitude, of rest that we view them as holy moments to enjoy Your presence anew and to taste and see afresh that the Lord is good indeed!


Meg Kim said...

Hi Lisa! Wow, you've been posting away, you are definitely an expert blogger now! It will take me some time to catch up on the posts, but am looking forward to reading through them in more detail.

From a brief read, it looks like you had a great trip to Cambodia this year. I'm sure you'll hear more from Hamster on this soon, but Brian McConaghy spoke at our church this weekend. What stories he has! ... of the horrific things going on in Cambodia, and of God's miracles.

I am so encouraged (and challenged) by Brian's example of living in obedience to how God has called him, in light of the Gospel.

Hamster said...

Hey, Lisa...thanks for your prayers this past weekend. The time with Brian was a God-moment, esp. as I heard of how the light of Christ is being shone in the darkest places of Cambodia!

After having heard Brian, it also made me think a lot about the way the Lord has been leading you, and your most recent trip. Can't wait to talk with you soon!

lisa said...

Hello Meg and Hamster

It's great to hear that the Lord used Brian to inspire you both. I'm looking forward to see what God will do in and through the folks at WellSpring.