Thursday, 2 February 2017
I like to think that God has a pretty good sense of humour. I can recount multiple times were my biggest God moments were at the most unexpected times. More often than not these unexpected moments are when we're faced by the biggest inconvenience, I think it's funny how God works that way. You may feel like on a scale of one to Nature Valley granola bar your life is falling apart on the granola bar end of the scale but don't think that God doesn't see you feeling this way. He knows just when to come and bring peace when He knows you'll least expect it and it'll make the biggest impact.
I was reading through a bunch of my old sermon notes the other day and I stumbled upon a little passage that I had written after youth one Friday. Confused, I opened it up to find an account of the night the devil tried to shut us down on one of the biggest nights of the year but our love and trust in God shone through bigger and bolder than I'd ever experienced at youth before.
At Oxygen (my churches youth group) we hold one service a term called Big Night Out where we have the other Oxygen youth groups from some of our other church campus's bus over to East to come and spend a service together. This particular Friday was set to be one of the best BNO's we'd had planned for the whole year, we were set and ready for a night God was going to move more than he'd done before. He did just that, but not in the way we would have expected.
I had gone into the service feeling pretty crappy to say the least. I had just come from a couple of bad weeks with rocky friendships and endless stress from last minute assignments so I wasn't standing ready for the night of my life. It's easy to forget about God's plans for your life and why you're here in the big scheme of things when life does everything it can to knock you down as soon as you find yourself in a good place. God chose that night to really remind me of this and tell me that I am seen and appreciated more than I give myself credit for majority of the time.
I had one of the best worship experiences of my life this night that I've ever had in all my eighteen years of being. Everything that could have gone wrong did but God used it to give us a raw moment in his presence and really speak to each of us. Not even two minutes into the first praise song everything stopped working. The microphones, the amps, some of the instruments, the lights went out - everything. Instead of stopping and moving on everyone just sang. The musicians not knowing what to do faded out the song early and and every teenager attending suddenly started clapping in time to the beat of the song and sang at the top of their lungs till the song was over. Not wanting to cut short the moment of authentic worship that was already taking place, Jeremy pulled out his guitar. Without microphones, lights, the atmosphere of the band, the room of us stood and worshiped in complete darkness completely forgetting about everyone around us. In that moment it was just God and I. I stood in his presence singing Here as in Heaven (one of my all time favourite songs might I add) and I could feel the way he was moving throughout the room. It was one of the coolest experiences I've ever had.
I was reminded of his love and the way that I must not give up on God no matter how much the world is trying to consume me and bring me down. In the big scheme of things the plans he has for my life are far greater than anything going on in my life right now and way more important. I must not give up on that.
Frosty our youth pastor went up and explained just that in a few simple words moments after worship, saying "When we are on the brink of the biggest breakthrough we experience the biggest kick-back." BUT we've just gotten keep on praising through those tough times.
It's funny how God uses moments like that to impact us when we least expect him to do so.