Hello everyone, as I mentioned last month, I wanted to have a couple of people write about the things the Lord showed them while on our trip to Israel. After being home for a month, I still constantly find myself thinking about the trip, and the things that the Lord revealed to me while there. I’m starting to think that it really does take at least a month to process all of the information given, and all the things that the Lord showed us. Anyway, our first “little nugget” comes from Megan Petock.
Before traveling to Israel, several friends who had been to the Holy Land, told me it would be a life changing experience. While excited about the trip, I doubted it would be life changing. “Israel is just a place,” I thought. However, a few weeks later, as my plane touched down on Israeli soil, I had the distinct feeling that I was about to be proven wrong.
On my third morning in Israel, I headed to the shoreline of the Sea of Galilee, carefully carrying a hot cup of coffee and a napkin filled with pita and hummus. I found a large rock by the water, used my rain jacket as a picnic blanket, and sat down. I opened my Bible and began reading. Like the disciples who lived 2,000 years before me, I was having breakfast with Jesus on the Sea of Galilee.
I turned to Matthew 14, the story of Jesus walking on water. It was a story I had heard since I was a little girl, but being there gave it a new and deeper meaning. Looking out at the water, I could almost hear the voice of Jesus calming speaking to the frightened disciples, who sailing on a fishing boat, “”Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” I imagined the calm water suddenly becoming stormy, and wondered what Peter was thinking when he stepped out onto the violent Sea. As my friend Sara put it (when she first saw the Sea of Galilee), “It’s real water.” I was looking at a real Sea, with real water, and real sand. Peter had some serious faith.
All morning, the words of my Bible came alive. I no longer had to imagine their scenery the way I had to imagine Narnia of Middle Earth. I was seeing it with my eyes. It transformed what I was reading.
This was one of many similar experiences, as numerous Biblical passages were given new life and depth, as I walked where Jesus walked. Throughout my time in Israel I prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, stood at the temple gates, gazed at Golgotha, and walked inside the empty tomb. With each experience, I gained a greater appreciation for the authenticity of Scripture and the faithfulness of God. I was tasting and seeing that every Word of His is truth, and every promise He has made has been kept.
When I walked on Israeli soil I knew in my heart that Israel, both the land and the Jewish people, were set apart unto God, and being in Israel was, in fact, life changing. Not because if it’s beauty, history, or Biblical context. It was life changing because Jesus had been there and still was. This was the setting He used as a background to His story of redemption. Through that land and people, He chose to bring Salvation to the entire world. It’s a truly Holy place.
Standing in the Philadelphia airport waiting to receive my luggage, I fiddled with the silver ring I had purchased in Jerusalem. It was engraved with the Hebrew words for the phrase, “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want.” I was quietly amazed as I thought about my experiences in Israel, and realized that the same God that orchestrated the plan of redemption and faithfully preserved His Word over of thousands of years, was my shepherd. He was leading and guiding me today, and He is life changing.
Whether your in Israel or Philadelphia.