This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves
to be my disciples. John 15:8

Mountain High

>> Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Mark and I are part of a weekly Bible study that I have been a part of for over 10 years. It started out as a college/career/singles ministry at our church, but has evolved into something totally different. Most of us are now married with kids and we (mostly) all go to different churches. There are a group of core members that remain constant, but throughout the years we have had many friends come and go, whether it be that they have moved or just moved on. It has been an amazing family to be a part of and some of the best friends I will ever have in my life are because of the connection to this group.

I have had the privilege of praying for so many people through the years in this group. People I will never know or see this side of Heaven, but were a friend of a friend or something like that. This past weekend, though, the Lord blessed me (and many others) with the opportunity to see some of those prayers answered directly. A friend, who was a part of our Bible study for a season, had asked us on many occasions to pray for the salvation of his grown children. It broke his heart that they did not know Jesus and the only power he had was to petition the Lord and get as many people as he could to petition Him, also. So we did.

Time has passed and when I would see this friend at church I would remember his kids and wonder what had happened, if anything. Occasionally I would remember to pray, but didn't ever expect to know the outcome. Boy was I wrong.

This last Sunday, my friend's son and girlfriend were baptized at Family Camp in one of the most beautiful baptismal services I have ever seen.

The weather for our camping had been perfect all weekend. We had enjoyed sun, but not too much heat, and it was truly ideal. Sunday morning we woke up to rain. Lots and lots of rain. It had been planned that we would have a lakeside service that morning, which would include the baptisms. Since it was raining, there was much debate over what to do. No one would want to stand in the rain for an hour just to sing a few songs and hear a brief message, would they? But we didn't want to deny anyone the opportunity to get baptized if that's what they wanted to do. Finally it was decided that service would be canceled, but the baptisms would be performed as planned. Anyone who wanted to join them could, but it wasn't expected that many would.

I felt absolutely compelled to go, and not just because I love a baptism (some people cry at weddings....I cry at baptisms....nothing gets me sobbing like a public declaration of faith). I had prayed for this man with his father and felt so privileged to be able to celebrate this day. So along with a few others, I headed down to the lake. As we stood in the rain, waiting for the baptism to begin, a most amazing thing happened. EVERYONE came! Hundreds of people showed up in the pouring rain to celebrate with this brother and sister in Christ their day. The unity and support that was displayed by this crowd was so moving. This was probably the most unpolished, unglamourous baptisms I have ever seen, and yet it will go down in my memory, I'm sure, as the most remarkable.

After the baptisms were over, and I had gotten to weep as my friend hugged his saved, baptized son, a wonderful woman from our church stepped forward to lead us in a song. It was an older song that I didn't know, but it didn't matter. I was so blessed to hear the members of our group standing in the pouring rain, singing without drums, guitars or pianos, praising God for what had just occurred.

God is not required in our spiritual life to give us these moments. Even in the mundane we should be joyful to praise Him. That is why I am especially thankful for that experience. Thank you, Lord, for such a celebration.


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