Some weeks I wonder what to say, but this week…God has dumped a wonderful story in my lap.
Yesterday morning, Russ and I talked briefly about something to do to celebrate the end of the week. We decided to head over to Springfield and see if we could get tickets to see Chris Tomlin.
The venue was packed with people and we overheard “sold out” as we entered the lobby, but Russ went to the ticket counter and the girl was ready to take his order. As he was reaching for his wallet, a young man came up to Russ with an envelope. He was eager to tell us he had two tickets that he was not going to be able to use due to the illness of his fiancee. Immediately I am thinking…..A scalper at a Christian concert, in front of the ticket window?? Really??? …but he assured us that they had tried to give the tickets away all day and had even called a radio station that day in hopes of finding someone to take them. Russ asked if he could give him some money, but he waved us off and laughingly said – that’s illegal and honestly we just wanted to bless someone. We took the tickets and he disappeared out the door.
As Russ and I headed into the auditorium, I fought paranoia…this was too good to be true. But the tickets scanned correctly – no problem. So far, so good. Next, I headed to the stairs thinking they must be in the nose-bleed section. Wrong again…center stage, 20 rows back on the main floor~!!!!!
I must confess a part of me kept thinking someone was going to come and tell us we were in their seats, or that their tickets had been stolen (television and movie plots rolled through my active imagination!!!) But as we sat there and the true unexpected, undeserved blessing of this soaked in, I was texting friends and family about this wonderful gift from God. I saw a few people we know and of course, I told them with great excitement. I wanted to tell the people around us. I wanted to tell Chris Tomlin, but he seemed busy so I didn’t bother him.
I just wanted to tell everyone about this wonderful gift God had blessed us with. I was filled with such joy and I was bursting to share it.
Those of you who know me well can probably tell what is coming next…. We have all been given a “free ticket” that is available to everyone. Jesus came with a ticket that He paid for and He wanted to give it to you and to me and to everyone. He has come up to each one of us and held out the ticket and all we had to do was take it and believe that it is ours. Just like Russ and I attended that beautiful concert/worship service as if we had paid for the tickets, you and I live and love and serve as if we had paid for this life – but we didn’t! He did. Romans 5:6 says that at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. That is the good news and it is good news that needs to be shared.
We will soon be entering the season of Lent, which is always a great time of reflection on the life and passion of our Lord Jesus Christ – but every Sunday, every day of the week; we celebrate this wonderful GOOD NEWS! I am inspired this morning to ask God to keep me be more aware of the JOY of His salvation and to give me that same enthusiasm to want to share the Gospel with everyone through the way I live and testify to His goodness! My prayer for myself and for all of us is that we would remember with a fresh sense of wonder, the Joy and the gift of HIS salvation!!
I taped the ticket in my journal and wrote a brief account of the event. I know what I am made of. Time will pass and I will get weary again. I will forget the delight of that event. I will forget that young man coming up to us and turning our whole evening around.
I also need constant reminders of a 33 year old man who hung on a cross for me, purchased me back from the dead, smiled and said there was nothing I could do to repay Him – He just wanted to bless me! I look forward to gathering tomorrow morning around the study of His story with you – and then to share in fellowship as we remember Him at His table in service!