Breathtaking Bravery

Today I witnessed courage, love and bravery like I have never seen before in real life. Ever since Thursday, my heart, thoughts and prayers have been centered on Christopher Laurie’s family as they mourn because he is no longer with them and at the same time, celebrate his life and entrance into the Lord’s presence. I found it difficult to study for a message on marriage as my mind constantly kept returning to the approaching funeral. After the first service at fresh life my phone had a text message telling me that Greg Laurie had shown up at Harvest and got up after the worship and through tears spoke about his son.

I couldn’t believe it and immediately logged on to the 9:45 service webcast that had just begun. After a few songs Greg stepped up to the pulpit to thundering applause and a tearful standing ovation and told his flock that there was no where else he wanted to be but at church worshiping the Lord with them. Several of us backstage immediately gathered near the laptop screen and were spellbound as we witnessed a loving father who having lost his son told his church that he “still believed.” And that even though he was going through the most difficult days of his life he was being sustained by the Lord whose strength he has preached about and pointed others to for years. I couldn’t imagine ever being to speak with such fresh and deep wounds but was overcome by the way he was demonstrating to his church an example of how to worship the Lord while there is pain in the offering. Then Greg called up Topher’s younger brother Jonathan who also wanted to speak. I couldn’t believe it, I know for a fact that Jonathan has always been freaked out by public speaking. I have been telling him for several years that I believe the day will come when God will use him as a mouthpiece, and he always just smiles and shakes his head. When he approached the pulpit he courageously spoke of his brothers death, salvation and told everyone that he knew if Christopher could speak he would want everyone to know, “Jesus is real” and that they need to get right with God before they die. He said that if even one person came to know Christ as a result of his brother’s testimony his death would not be in vain. It was beautiful and awesome to watch. I was so proud of him and several of us began to shed tears at the maturity, love and sincerity. Greg then gave an invitation with Jonathan’s hand on his shoulder and many made decisions to receive Christ and have the promise of joining Christopher in heaven.

It was one of the most touching and moving moments I have ever witnessed and though I was in no emotional state to do so, I immediately had to bolt into the pulpit to teach. I have been thinking about it all day and have come to two conclusions:

1. God is using and going to continue to use what seemed to be an insurmountable trial to strengthen Greg as he preaches the gospel unto the ends of the earth. His ministry will only gain momentum through this.
2. What was seen today is only the beginning of how God is going to speak through Jonathan Laurie. God has big plans for the life and ministry of this sweet young man and I for one intend to pray for and encourage him however I can.

You can watch Greg and Jonathan speak here.

You can read an article the Orange Country Register wrote about the service here.
Let’s keep praying for Christopher’s family, and church family at Harvest.