Growing up, I attended church my whole life. I slowly learned about a strange man I never met and heard stories that I deemed to be true because after all, my Pastor said so. I grew up without much experience so what I knew to be true, I learned about with what stories I was told. So now at twenty-five I ask, “What is an experience? What does God really have to do with me?” As a child, my relationship with Jesus was merely filled full of moments; a moment of sadness, of grief, of anger, of pleading, the moment was fleeting, and sad to say my experience with Jesus was as well. Similar occasions would happen when I would see anything to do with “The Holy Land Experience.” I’d wonder for a moment, what would this “experience” entail, and like many others I said, “I’ll go someday.” My fleeting moment came to an end when God revealed himself to me in ways that I never deemed worthy of and I encountered a life changing experience when I walked through the gates this past Saturday, never imagining that The Holy Land Experience was a walk that God had destined for my life. Within the walls of The Holy Land Experience, the outside world dissolved as I was embraced with the Holy Spirit of God. As I journeyed from the entrance to the inside of the park, I was received with love from the heart-warming staff whom not only take time to provide guidance of the venues, but a guidance towards who God is in your life. Walking through the park I was presented with many brought to life performances like the outstanding musical drama featuring the life of Lazarus with his sisters and their walk with Christ, as well as the tremendous musical drama through the eyes of Maria Magdalena and her relationship with Christ. As I sat through the four-part series, “God With Us” musical drama which follows the life of the Apostle Peter, there are no words in which I can describe the palpable movement of the Lord that is felt in this place. The words resounded in my ear and in my mind saying, “For you walk there with me, guiding me, guarding me all the way!” The songs used in these performances brought literal tears to my eyes. As a young adult, it seems like not much can impress us today with the way technology has risen, yet the spirit in side of me cannot deny the movement of God that is felt through the lyrics and the passion that is portrayed by these talented actors/actresses. “God With Us” was not just a drama to me, it was a revelation of who I am in the kingdom of God every day.
There are 7 days, 168 hours, 10,080 minutes and 604,800 seconds in a week. Throughout the week, do we search for new ways to not only grasp ourselves to the Lord but provoke the drawing of others to Jesus? Without love and the presence of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life, there can be no change. Without Christ, we are nothing. For a moment in the Church of all Nations theater when I drowned out the noise, all I could hear were my thoughts. I looked around to my brothers and sisters and made an honest assessment of my life to see what was different. There are moments in our lives that seem short-lived and are never grounded in our hearts. Those who have never truly adjoined to Jesus keep searching for a new way to experience the feeling all over again and I believe this is where many people are today in their lives. Many lack a desire to search for Jesus and don’t take a moment to analyze who Christ is and refuse to push barriers for an intimate and growing relationship with our Savior. But no one can find God without a humble and broken spirit. Stop trying to force things into your life that does not naturally fit and realize that God simply wants you to connect with Him however you can. Trust God’s plan despite your fears, failures, inadequacies, pain and frustration. God has begun a work in you to fulfill His purposes and you can count on Him to finish what He has started. That’s why The Holy Land Experience is so awe-inspiring. It is not just a place of rest for the wandering spirit, but a home that will cultivate a moment with Jesus into an experience that will shift their lives forever.
For more information about HLE please visit our website at holylandexperience.com