at the moment I will just try to focus on the fact that it is the end of the day, and another day closer to the bittersweet return home. Now, I don't want you to think that I am the type to live life checking off the days on the calendar... but in this moment, I am a full believer in it.
It is moments like these, were everything makes so much sense, but yet makes no sense at all. For example, I can see God's guiding hand, taking me through the life-changing year in Peru last year JUST so that I would be prepared enough to endure this. I'm trying to find something to laugh about tonight, but tonight it seems a little bit difficult.
I find it ironic that just at this time the weather is starting to heat up. We are in a desert. God's love can be so hard sometimes. ufff... I know that we pray for the Lord to break us so we can learn to rely more on him, but I think my lips will quiver a little bit more the next time I pray those words.
I can't describe the situation to you. I can't explain what I am thinking. I will neither point my finger at my location, or at Jewishness, or at anything... it isn't the situation that I am trying to express to you, but the feeling.
I want to write this down, because I need to remember this moment.
One step. One step at a time. Wow. Do you ever feel like you are a crazy person just because you catch yourself savoring the times when things seem to be "normal." I think I would just pray for strength right now. Strength to continue.
Let me tell you, in this moment, God is taking down a foundation in my life. When he says, build you house on solid rock... he really meant it. I am in a sort of dizzy stage. Which seems appropriate if everything I have known is being deconstructed all around me. I deserve to admit my dizziness.
This is probably the point where I am beginning to really worry whoever it is that may be reading this. But trust me... this is probably the 4,000th time this has happened to me since being here in Israel, every time a little bit deeper...but the first time I have chosen to write about it... in such a direct way. Hence, why I have been so sporadic with my blogging. But I can tell you this...
This is necessary.
I prayed for the Lord to do this to me, as they say, many moons ago. It was actually exactly what I was expecting to have happened in Peru... but thanks to Him, He was gracious and let the process happen a little slower. I wanted to learn what it was like to live a life with the mindset of a poor person... being able to be content in whatever situation I find myself... Sleeping on the ground, not having sufficient food, out of my comfort zone, trusting in Him not just for daily needs, but daily peace of spirit, etc... and I have found all of those things, but here in Israel.
There is a famous story known amongst Rabbis which goes somewhere along the lines of what I have thought....
'They tell a story of the Dubno Maggid, the famous preacher of the east European ghettos. Once he was asked by the mighty scholar called the Vilna Gaon to tell him his faults. The magid at first declined. When the Gaon pressed him, he at last spoke somewhat like this: "Very well. You are the pious man of our age. You study night and day, retired from the world, surrounded by the rows of your books, the Holy Ark, the faces of devout scholars. You have reached high holiness. How have you achieved it? Go down in the market place, Gaon, with the rest of the Jews. Endure their work, their strains, their distractions. Mingle in the world, hear the skepticism and irreligion they hear, take the blows they take. Submit to the ordinary trials of the ordinary Jew. Let us see then if you will remain the Vilna Goan!" They say the Goan broke down and wept.'
Who are we to be.... the pious man who ends his life knowing nothing of the struggles of the actual world, or are we to get down on the level of the poor, the level of those who struggle, and then, and only then, truly have our faith tested?
Look at James 2:5...
"5Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?"
I don't mean to say that I have hit rock bottom economically here in Israel. But God has begun to work qualities of such a life into my own... starting with a firm foundation. A foundation not set in what someone told me, or what I wish the world to be/look like. But, a foundation solidified in Him. It has been hard, it has been scary... but like I admitted so long ago... If I truly believe in God, in His Word, in the sending of His Son Jesus Christ, which I will still proudly say yes to, then I MUST believe that HE is the one in control. That HE will bring me the right knowledge. If I seek wisdom with my whole heart, He promises me that I will find it.
This may seem a little too much for you to grasp now, and if so, let it go. I just had to write something down. I'm sure in a couple days, the storm will be over... and I will stand on a bit firmer ground, thanking God, because although this may be a hard situation to go through, it just means he is preparing me for something, teaching me something... and I can only be grateful for that. And a year down the road, when I am deep within the next encounter, good or bad, I will be able to look back at this exact blog and say... "I knew it Lord. You were preparing me. YOU alone are good."
What a beautiful thing to think about... haha.
I guess I got my laugh out for today. ;-) Never fails.
Thank you all for your prayers and support.
Blessings from Israel,