Large-scale revival is a concept usually found in Christian history books, but in the mid nineties I was part of a meeting of several thousand where the Holy Spirit showed up in a significant and memorable way. It was in those days of meetings that I first heard this simple hymn “White as Snow.”
A dear friend of ours, Nancy Leigh DeMoss, now Nancy Wolgemuth, was assigned to speak one afternoon and her topic was a comparison between the proud heart and the humble heart. She spoke with passion and strong conviction, as she invited anyone who needed to repent from their pride, sin, or their part in a broken relationship to act on that whisper of the Holy Spirit.
Very slowly at first a few brave souls dropped to their knees, stood and walked to pray with a friend, or turned to confess an offense to someone. As Nancy continued to speak more people rose to find others and more fell to their knees. Then she led us in singing the chorus of this old hymn as a reminder to all that God’s saving grace and His ever-available forgiveness is ours as soon as we ask with a humble and broken heart.
What joy that our sins are forgiven and washed clean by Jesus’ work on the cross!
The meeting never really ended that day. The Spirit of God continued to move in hearts spreading over the whole arena. No one left for hours. And then it continued the next day. Soon after we had all gone home to various geographical locations, the Spirit resumed His work in towns across the country, including our town, Little Rock.
In a much smaller meeting we again experienced His gentle but insistent revelations of other sins to bring to Him. Though there wasn’t anything significant for me personally at the first meeting, at the second one back home God broke my heart over my impatience and anger toward my teens and preteens. I remember sitting on the floor in a back corner of the room crying deeply over my sin, for I saw it as God saw it for the first time. My sins were flaming scarlet. Then again I sang these words in joy, feeling washed white as snow.
This revival may not make the history books but God has most certainly recorded it in His books. And for me it remains today not only a wonderful memory but also a reminder of the goodness of God, that He would desire pure new hearts so much that He would persistently stay after sinners such as me.
How grateful I am that He never stops pursuing me and you.