When Jesus Shows Up at the NAMM Show

This Wednesday, I woke up at 4 in the morning to catch a 7 AM flight into LAX. From there, I, three other girls, and two professors, took a one hour shuttle ride to Anaheim. I was given the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to attend the NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) Show. 

The show featured sessions for college music students and faculty, sessions for music industry professionals, speakers, concerts, and the mother of all trade shows. Even only one day in, it’s been an incredible experience for someone who has had a passion for music from a young age. Any description I could muster would not do it justice. 

As incredible as the NAMM Show is, it is also largely secular, and hectic, and overwhelming. The Greater LA music scene can be full of distractions and temptations. Even though I haven’t been exposed to most of them, I find that the journey away from God does not begin with depravity; it begins with busy-ness. It begins with not having time for God, a rebellion in itself, then migrates to a more hostile rebellion. My  experience also forced me to think about my future. I’m passionate about music, but how can I use my gifts in a way that honors God rather than myself? 

With these questions and a feeling of spiritual heaviness, I attended the NAMM Night of Worship with Lincoln Brewster as the headlining worship leader. I was slow in finding a worshipful frame of mind. Toward the end of the night, Lincoln gave an invitation and prayed aloud the sinner’s prayer. 

With heads bowed and eyes closed, he asked anyone in the crowd who had prayed that prayer with him to raise a hand. I peeked through the slits of my fingers (let’s be real, everyone does it), half expecting no one to respond; I figured anyone who attended had to be a Christian already, and anyone who wasn’t would just be disinterested. 

To my amazement, several raised their hands. At least 5, maybe 10 people. And now, sitting alone in my hotel room, I am convicted and rebuked for my surprise. Lincoln himself quoted to us the scripture that says “Where two or more gather together in my name, there I will be also.” 

God meets his children where they gather. He meets us where we feel weak, alone, and vulnerable. He meets us where we are weary and tempted. He meets us where we have questions, anxieties, and fears. And when He shows up, everything changes. Your reason for living and for pursuing your passions changes. And when He shows up at the NAMM Show, lives are changed and people are reached.

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