MEN OF VALOR: STRONG ENOUGH

       

Last night I was able to attend one of the most memorable concerts ever, “Winter Jam.”  One reason being that it would be the first time I would get to enjoy a Christian Jam Fest with my older kids.  Secondly, I would get the opportunity to meet with some of my favorite Christian artist.  In order to make this happen we would actually have to “tailgate” since the tickets were only sold at the door. We were there at 1400 and the doors didn’t open until 1800.   The wait was well worth it since we were able to get great seating inside.

Upon finding the best seats and some intro songs being played the announcement was made.  If you are a pastor or youth pastor we would like to meet with you backstage.  It was  on!  I hurried and shuffled through the large crowds that were still coming in and made my way to the backstage.  The leadership casts their vision of Winter Jam and introduced us to some of the artists that would be performing that evening, Matthew West and Toby Mac were among them.

Matthew gave a brief testimony and the current journey God has him on.  But one thing stuck with me in regards to youth ministry.  He said, “You can’t cry with your youth until you have laughed with your youth.”  If your not willing to have fun, jump around, enjoy their youth with them then it will be difficult for them in their deepest time want to come to you.  Build trust through laughter so you can be of influence in times of sorrow.

We prayed together and headed back to the awesome concert.  That phrase stuck in my head and I determined to have a blast with my kids.  Needless to say I had been up since 0345 and had done some serious PT that morning but that wouldn’t deter me from having fun with them.  We spent the next five hours of the concert mostly on my feet, jumping up and down, waving my hands, looking at the beautiful smiles of my kids as they worshiped with all their might, soul, and heart.

Matthew West came up second to last and made us laugh, worship, and even cried.  His last song was the one that did it for me.  STRONG ENOUGH.  I was introduce to this song by a great friend of mine, Jonnie Rodriguez, former Marine.  In sharing his testimony with Infantry Soldiers at Sand Hill he played what he called, “his life song.”  Hearing it song by Matthew West live I began to allow those words to sink in and I realized that in my journey of life this has also become my “life song.”  It was one of the greatest feelings in the world to know that God is touching your heart among 15000 hearers and letting you know He loves you personally. It was the greatest moment of the night for me.

1% left on my phone when I headed out the stadium looking for Matthew West booth.  I wanted to take a photo with him so I could send it to Jonnie.  We waited for about 20 minutes.  I handed the phone to a staff member when he is about to take the picture he hands it back to me and says, “sorry Sir there is something wrong here.”  My phone had died!  NO!  Matthew West looks at me as I begin to let him know how much his ministry has impacted my life and that of Jonnie.  He does the coolest thing ever.   Takes off his STRONG ENOUGH bracelet and autographs it and says, “Please give this to your friend when you see him.”  He then embraces me and says, “thanks for what you do for our Soldiers.”   I left encouraged knowing that even though I am not strong enough to be everything that I am suppose to be, God is strong when I am weak, and I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength and I don’t have to be STRONG ENOUGH!

Reflection:  What it in your life do you need to let go and realize that your not STRONG ENOUGH?  Do you feel that you need to prove yourself to someone or even God?  I encourage you with these words:   YOU CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO GIVES YOU STRENGTH.  All that God’s desire from you is a  relationship with Him who has loved you eternally.

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