Have you been to the Mountain top? Have you had that experience where you feel like you could literally reach out and touch the rays of heaven with your bare hand? Have you worshiped with the body of believers in one voice praising God and you know...you just know He is present and you feel the earth move because you know without a doubt that God is in the house? Those times when your hope is sure, you have no doubts, you have no fear, your faith is strong and you command the mountains to move and they do?
I had several mountain top experiences this weekend, mostly because I was literally in the mountains of Arizona with 5,000+ other believers at a three-day Christian music festival. It sounds like fun, right? Don't get me wrong, it was. But my view was a little different than most. My view came from working backstage, arranging vendors, getting artists were they needed to be, greeting people, taking complaints, enforcing the rules, keeping wandering fans from sneaking backstage....you know, the fun stuff. My view was in the details SO THAT others could walk in and listen to some of the most amazing artists in the Christian Music Industry. I have been to the mountain top!
The reality for me in working with the many bands and artists was that I probably saw a total of 20 minutes where I actually stood still and watched the show over a three day period. I'm gonna take this moment to set the scene. The organization I work with brought in Mercy Me, Jeremy Camp, The Newsboys, Rend Collective, Sanctus Real and the list goes on. These are pretty big names in the Christian Music industry. They do GREAT shows. They provide amazing ministry opportunities for the saved, the unsaved and the curious. They lift of the name of Jesus and they have fun while they are at it! There is a vibe in the arena and it's exciting, it's thrilling. Our concert attendees love it, they walk away filled up, exhausted and making plans for next year when we do it all again. It's pretty awesome.
But for me, my mountain top experience came from something else. It came through the little things that the average concert goer does not get to see. These are the things I reflected on during my ride down the mountain after a long exhausting weekend of work and very little sleep.
Friends I am exhausted as I write, but I have been to the Mountain Top and I have seen the Glory of God working in the little things to the point that I can't even count them all.
I saw how last minute vendors dropped out and wanted their deposits back and once we finally set them all up on site, I praised God because there was an error in our measurements and they would not have all fit.
I saw how a "dirt devil" (mini tornado) swept through our outdoor vendor area, picked up one tent (that had four 10 gallon jugs of water tied to each post) and lifted it 5 feet in the air and slammed it back down to the ground. It was the only tent where the vendor showed up late and did not have the workers or kids in it because they missed an exit.
I saw an autistic boy who saved his own money all year to by a three day pass to the event so that he could see the band Kutless because this band had changed his life. He tried for weeks to get a pass to their meet and great which was already over sold. I heard how he asked my co-worker "Why doesn't God want me to meet Kutless" and I heard how he cried when my co-worker made it happen and he got to meet the band and tell them how God used them to change his life.
I stood by as we tried to move bands from one place to another to keep schedules and flows and how one artist in particular could not keep up with us because he wanted to meet, talk, shake hands, learn the names of every concert goer, worker and volunteer that he passed. Why, because he genuinely cares.
I saw how walls between similar ministries were broken down.
I saw friends of mine from out of state (that has asked me if there was a way they could perform at this event and I told them there was not) showed up to serve and volunteer in one of the ministry booths and when there was a "no show" stepped up without hesitation when I asked my boss if they could fill in and he said "Yes", but they only have 15 minutes. THEN, I saw how there was a mix up with another band and my friends where then asked to do a full set outdoors and rocked it!!
I saw tired, exhausted, workers and artists say "I'm sorry" and "I forgive you."
I saw a tent full of Sunday morning people worship the Lord.
I saw people that drove up and could not find a hotel and slept in their cars, just to meet someone that opened their home to them the next two nights.
I saw People raise their hand and sponsor Compassion International children to the point that we ran out of packets to give people to do monthly sponsorships.
I saw a women who had no money left come to the venue the last day and the first person she ran into said "I have an extra ticket."
I met two women who came to the event together that had birthdays on the same day and had both been declared dead in car accidents two miles apart from each other on THE SAME road. One of those women is now dating the coroner that pronounced her dead...( ok, I had to take a picture with these ladies) Check it out below.
I saw my co-workers praying with people at the event, at McDonald's and at Walmart. I saw prayer slips and requests being prayed over individually.
I saw a young women who used to be the face on a Compassion Child sponsorship packet stand up and tell us how she is real and how sponsoring a child changes lives. I saw her tell us how she is now getting her Phd and I saw a room of people respond and not leave any children sponsor packets behind.
I have so much more.....the list goes on......I'm exhausted, but my heart is full. I have been to the mountain top and I have seen the hand of God work miracles, work in spite of us, work through us and go before us.
I have been to the mountains of Prescott Valley, AZ and now I am back in the valley of Phoenix, AZ.
What does God have for me now that I am down? sleep...... rest...... vacation?
I believe that what God has for me...for us in the valleys of our lives is very similar to what He has for us when we are standing on top of the mountain. In the valley or way up high, we get to see the glory of our God at work through the little things (and the big things) that no one sees. We simply need to be present and available with our eyes and hearts open.
Friends, I am signing off, I'm gonna take a nap...a really long one and wake up tomorrow, ready to serve, be filled and pour it all out again.
Our God is amazing!