Now when she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, and did not know that it was Jesus. (John 20:14 NKJV)
When Jesus rose from the dead the Scripture tells us that he was very busy that first morning. He went and preached to all those who had died before, went and confronted Satan, and yet John tells us that He still took time to comfort one of his followers, Mary.
You remember Mary? She is the former prostitute who came and washed Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume and her tears. Jesus was never too busy for one hurting person.
This Easter week I’m asking God to give me eyes to see one hurting person. It might be someone I’m already scheduled to meet but it might actually be someone completely out of the blue that needs a simple word of comfort and encouragement.
If you learn nothing else from Jesus, get this: He takes time for a broken and desperate person.
I Heart Treasure Valley was one of the most inspiring events I’ve ever been involved with.
– It began with a long drive to Boise with my oldest son, Chase and his two best friends, Tyler and Andrew. It was fun to be with them and I thoroughly enjoyed their company.
– We arrived in Nampa, ID around 2:30 pm and Chase was involved in setting up the sound system for SunTrack.
– I was invited to a small gathering for dinner with Nick Vujicic, his Life Without Limbs team, his wife and son and several Heart Campaign leaders. I also got to see Jay Smith, his mom Janet and made many new friends. We were able to pray over Nick and the pastors of Treasure Valley. God gave me a picture of the soil being watered by the tears of the pastors and that this weekend they would get to see the fruit of their labors. Nick prophesied that 1,000 people would give their hearts to Jesus that next night.
– Saturday I got to see Westsiders in action as they served the people going out to serve in their cities. It was so cool to see how involved our church was in the behind the scenes areas. I was so proud of our church family and how they gave without recognition.
– Casey invited me to go to lunch with Nick and then to the Boise State football stadium where the team was doing spring training. I was so impacted as these big football players in full pads came to Nick and hugged him and many of them telling him how much of an impact he has made on them just through his videos. It was inspiring to see (of course, I took no pictures – I’m such a doofus). At lunch with Nick he told me the back story of his time on Oprah. Great story and showed how bold Nick really is and how unashamed he is of the gospel.
– Back to the concert arena where I helped a little bit with setup and just hung out with Elliot.
Then the concert. We had given out over 15,000 tickets (twice the capacity of the arena) and the arena was packed at over 7,000 people. The band High Street opened the evening and got the crowd warmed up and then Elliot played. God was in the house from the very beginning. You could feel the tangible presence of the Holy Spirit.
– Nick then shared a powerful message of hope and salvation. Then the response happened. I tell you I have never seen anything quite like it. Nick had people stand right where they were. It felt like more people were standing than sitting. Then he invited them to come forward so the prayer teams could pray with them and get them connected to a local church. It was so powerful.
– On my way home Sunday I felt led to stop in at the Foursquare church in Burns. I just said hello and offered a word of encouragement to the pastor. It felt right.
Jay Smith came up to me and whispered, this couldn’t have happened without Westside. I knew it was true. Westside has consistently sent teams out to cities around the northwest to do I Heart events, many with Nick. We have invested financially as well. But more than anything our hearts have been invested in helping other cities and churches experience the wonderful saving message of Jesus Christ. When we go out, not in our name but in His name, and love and serve and give ourselves, God is so pleased with us.