Starry Starry Night

It was a cold, starry night in the North Carolina mountains 20 years ago. On December 13, 1987, a senior in high school, I was on a retreat at Windy Gap, a Young Life camp. There was a group meeting that night, and I don’t remember exactly what the speaker said anymore, but somehow the message I’d been hearing for months at Young Life meetings became crystal clear to me. The message about God’s unconditional love, about my own helplessly sinful heart, about the great chasm separating me from God, about Jesus who chose to die to bridge the chasm, about new life and peace and freedom and hope… it all made its way from my head to my heart. Life was at stake. I had to act. I went to one of the leaders after the meeting and asked what I must do. Her answer was “nothing.” I was puzzled, and then she added that God had done it all; there is nothing for us to add, nothing to be done; it is grace. Then she recommended that I go out on the mountainside and talk to God, tell him what I was thinking and feeling. In my mind I remember it so clearly… walking up the hillside in the moonlight with the cold wind blowing. It was there that I had my reckoning. I had heard the undeniable call of the Creator, and I answered with the tears of a humble heart. And that has made all the difference. My life has never been the same. I’ve seen God’s provision, His protection, His blessing, His guidance, His power time after time. So I like to take time to reflect each year on my re-birth date, if you will, and to be thankful. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.” We sing “Amazing Grace” because it is so utterly amazing! If by chance you don’t know what I’m talking about, I invite you to contact me… I’d love to pass on to you the great story of God’s love for you.

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