Harvest in the Ranch
Taken from Greg Laurie's blog from Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008
I wanted to thank all of you for your prayers for an outreach event I spoke at this last weekend. It was called Harvest in the Ranch, and it was held in Rancho Santa Fe in San Diego County.
It was sponsored by Horizon Christian Fellowship in Rancho Santa Fe, which is pastored by my friend, Bob Botsford. Bob has spoken at many of our training classes for our Harvest Crusades events, as well as at our church. Bob is a gifted communicator who brings God’s Word in a powerful and relevant way to this generation.
At this outreach event, which consisted of a morning and evening meeting, we saw more than 12,000 people attend and when the invitations were given to follow Christ, some 924 people came forward! I’m told they are still counting cards and that number may end up higher.
Of course,we rejoice because Jesus said, “There is joy in the presence of the angels over one sinner that comes to repentance!”
Originally, we were going to show the Lost Boy film, as this event was planned a while ago. I was going to get up after the film and give a message springboarding from the film. As you know, I have done a number of these Lost Boy events over the last few months, and they have been very fruitful.
But I just did not feel I was ready to do that this last weekend, So, instead we showed a brief trailer from the film and I brought messages that were more attuned to where I am right now in life, after the sudden departure of my son Christopher to heaven...
New chapters in my story
When I completed Lost Boy, the book and the documentary, I was able to look back on my life with 20/20 hindsight and get a sense of the big picture. I could see that, despite my difficult childhood, God had used it to help me do what I do today.
In fact, the film ended with my family walking down the street smiling. My wife Cathe, my son Jonathan, my daughter-in-law Brittany, my granddaughter Stella, and, of course, Christopher. It was almost as if to say, “They all lived happily ever after.”
Then Christopher unexpectedly died and everything changed. It was as though the back cover of my book had been ripped off and new chapters were to be added.
The ink is still wet on these new chapters in my life, and I am not sure how how this story will unfold.
God is good
But I know this, God is good and He is still in control!
As I look back on my life, I can see how good the Lord has been to me and my family. And my prayer is that He will be glorified through all that has happened.
I would like to say this has all gotten easier, but it has not. In some ways, it is even harder. The hard reality of not seeing my son again on this earth is sinking in.
Yes, I know I will see him again in heaven, but I just so wish he could be with us now. Fortunately, that day of reunion will come for me and all of us who have loved ones who have gone to heaven before us.
When I spoke this last weekend and, of course, at the Southern California Harvest just a few weeks ago, I wove in the story of my son and how this has affected us. But I also told people that no matter how difficult your trials, God will be walking with you though it.
Take the worst-case scenario in life—finding out you are going to die, or having someone close to you die, or having your child die before you. Now know this: Jesus will be there for you, tears in His eyes, walking with you.
You know certain things are true, but you wonder if you can still stand in this hour. You can and you will, if you have Christ!
One man whose son had died wrote this about his faith: “Faith is a footbridge that you don’t know will hold you over the chasm until you’re forced to walk out unto it.”
I am on that footbridge right now, and I can tell you, it’s sound.
Yes, new chapters are being written in my story, and in yours too. May God help us all seek to glorify Him as He writes them.
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