Urbana15: Miraculous Encounters

1222016restroomsUrbana 15 was marked by miraculous, divine encounters where God put us in specific places at precise times so he could act! One such time was the 4th evening during a Communion Service for the 16,000 attendees in the Edwards Jones Dome in St. Louis. It was a sacred, solemn moment as we were led by ushers to stand row-by-row to be served the bread and wine representing Christ’s body and blood sacrificed for us.

As I waited quietly in prayer, my aging bladder started talking, then screaming at me. I tried to ignore the growing sensation but realized I would need to take action soon. Finally our row stood and received the elements, then I quickly exited to find a bathroom.

To my surprise, as I left the bathroom, a young woman said, “I know you. You’re famous!” She clarified that she’d been in a seminar that I had taught a few days earlier with Jane Hall, NCF National Director. I discovered she was a nursing student, and like many of the students at Urbana, seeking God’s calling on her life. Then suddenly, she began to cry. As her voice broke, she asked if I would talk with her for a moment.

We quickly found a quiet place and she poured out her story. The Bible studies at Urbana had brought into sharp focus the reality of God’s judgment for those who reject him. Her voice trailed off as she said, “I don’t know if I can serve a God who will send some to eternal punishment…”

I shed a few tears with her, and I told her it was a good thing to ask God hard questions. That he welcomes our questions. Then I said I wondered if God was breaking her heart for the lost so she would realize the urgency of reaching out to others, of being his messenger. We then went to scriptures like 1 Timothy 2:4 and 2 Peter 3 and talked about how it is God’s will for all to be saved; that he is patiently waiting, not wanting anyone to perish but everyone to come to repentance. We talked about how God is calling us to bring the good news of salvation to the world.

We prayed, cried, hugged, and I promised to stay in contact with her as she continued to seek God’s will for her life. We laughed as we both realized God had spoken to my bladder to create a divine encounter. He had ordained our meeting in the hallway during Communion at Urbana 15.

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