The second night of youth convention was even greater than the first. More laughter, more worship, more change in lives! Saturday night I got the opportunity to watch and pray as hundreds of students came forward to pray for freedom from the “lovers” they had been turning their attention to and trying to find comfort in instead of God. The message was the story of Hosea, the prophet, and his wife Gomer, the unfaithful prostitute, whom he loved and chased. “She decks herself with rings and jewelry and goes to find her lover. But me she forgot.” was the key verse that evening. Those are the words the Lord spoke about Israel’s unfaithfulness. You can hear His heartbreak.
1,500 students were challenged to stop turning to their vices for comfort and solace and instead recognize God’s freedom and love. I watched, prayed and cried as hundreds of students came streaming from every corner of the La Crosse Center to turn away from the answers and fulfillment of the world to God. Students prayed and were changed. They were set free from suicidal thoughts and depression, addictions to pornography, drugs and alcohol and anorexia, bulimia and cutting. God is good and it was wonderful to see Him work so personally in lives.
The freedom found when we stop trying to make our vices stretch to cover our pain is amazing. We admit our tactics and comforts don’t cut it and don’t fix the hurt. We stop telling ourselves the lie that we can handle the situations and trials of life. Instead, we stand in Christ, trusting not in our understanding and ability, but in His goodness and faithfulness. Releasing the lie and embracing the Truth brings miraculous freedom. And the miracle of freedom is what hundreds of students experienced on Saturday night. The relief and joy seemed tangible as students began to worship God with all of their hearts, minds and souls, not just the portions that weren’t busy trying to find a solution and hold it all together.
It was an amazing and miraculous event. I’m so happy I was able to be a part of it.