This past Tuesday, I went to Tennessee to see Chris Tomlin in concert. I saw him once many years ago and loved every minute of it, so when I saw that he was going to be playing in Memphis, I really wanted to take Julie. After checking to make sure it was okay with her work, I bought tickets for us, only to find out later that Julie could not go because of work. I called a friend of mine, Tim Jewett, who lives there and he agreed to go to the concert with me and let me stay at his house overnight.
I had a great lunch with my brother, Adam, and then met up with Tim. We hung out at his place and then went to the famous restaurant, Rendezvous. After eating well, we walked over to the FedEx Forum and got ready for some praise and worship. As we arrived, Israel Houghton and the New Breed were just getting cranked up to open for Chris Tomlin. They were great! I had never heard of them, but I was very surprised at the level of their musicianship. The second song had a line in it, “Though the sorrow may last for the night, His joy comes with the morning” which is the verse (Psalm 30:5) that Julie and I have clung to since Magdalena went to be with Jesus. I started to tear up right away thinking about my sweet little girl and it immediately drew me into the worship when I realized that at that moment, Magdalena was doing perfectly what I was there to do. As the worship went on, more things kept reminding me of this, including the story that Israel told about how his mother was advised to have an abortion because she had no means to take care of her child after her husband left her. And because an unknown lady crossed the street and told her that she was not forgotten by God, Israel’s mother gave her life to Christ and her son is now using his musical abilities to bring people into worship all over the world. Amazing.
When Chris Tomlin came out, the depth and intensity of worship was even higher. The more I thought and sang about God’s greatness, grace and love for us, the more I had to fight back the tears. I felt like I was worshipping God with Magdalena and, as strange as it sounds, I could “see” her there in Heaven singing praises with us. It was a wonderful way for God to draw me into deeper worship. As Chris talked about his experiences traveling and seeing how God is working in amazing ways all over the world, I couldn’t help but think about how He has and continues to use Magdalena’s short life to change so many hearts. He is still using her to bring people to Himself and me and Julie into a closer and deeper relationship with Him. He is an amazing God.
I miss Magdalena terribly, but she was a wonderful gift and I am so thankful to God for her and I look forward to the great day when I will be worshipping God beside her. She continues to bless me in so many ways and this one night in Memphis was a great reminder for me how great our God really is.