Once again, it’s time to hear from our sister in Jerusalem about what she is witnessing there as a believer in Yeshua. Put your prayer shawls on and pray for Israel and Sister J. Now here she is …
“Your Word is a lamp unto my feet and a Light unto my path…” Psalm 119:105 Yes, The Lord’s eternal Word…The Living Word, is a Light that will never go out…even when our eyes grow dim! Halleluyah!
The last candle just went out on our chanukiah signaling the beginning of the last day of Chanuka. Even the tiny glow of the last fading candle cast warmth throughout the room which now sits in darkness of the winter night. My favorite Chanuka greeting is Hag oorim Sameach (Holiday of light joy).
I’m sure that we have all sat pensively in front of some flame or other thinking about light and darkness, God having graciously given us these stark contrasts: dark and light, night and day, good and evil. They are before us constantly in such a creative variety of presentations. It is as if He were saying: “These are simple children that I have made and I must remind them again and again, CHOOSE LIFE, FOR WHY WOULD YOU DIE? In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it. (John 1:4-5)
I have been buffeted by much emotion over the past couple of weeks as there has been a wave of contrasting deaths. A dear sister in The Lord, the wife of one of our loving Pastors from the past, went to be with The Lord. She really did graduate, a saint who walked with us as a servant, there is joy around her departure, except for knowing the great loss our Pastor must walk through. So, I pray for him as I pray for our current Pastor at the same time. His precious father also died a different kind of death. One we Jewish believers find far too often in our experience as we pray and pray for the soul of our loved one, and speak as we are able and then they go…and we weep in a different way. These two went in the same week: loved ones of my beloved Pastors, men of God whom I have been blessed with and whose loved ones I prayed for. Two kinds of prayer. How to reconcile it and pray for them in the same breath.
And in the same week two plain old worldly Israeli entertainers also died. Both of these were people who grew up with the country (now 65 years old) and delighted, encouraged and united people. One made it laugh when it wanted to cry, and one gently sang to it of the dreams and hopes of this collective nation. I have never cared much about entertainment but it touched me to me to see how there was a collective grief as if someone close had died and people cried publically. So this I was bade: to enter in to an assortment of grief and ask Him how to partake and comfort. To witness grief without it touching you…well…that just doesn’t happen.
Larissa is another secretary with whom I work. I have already told you about Mali and I know of several of you who are praying for her, and now it’s time to add Larissa. She is all of 22 and greatly feeling the absence of my own children, I have really grown to love these two young women. Both know that I’m a believer and I have shared a bit as each one would receive. So Larissa asked me to go to the Israel Museum with her on our mutual day off. It sounded great and I accepted, knowing full well I would groan as the day approached, but I felt it was right and went.
I had been praying for an opportunity to share more with her. I had taught her to knit and she is preparing to go to art school and had been very interested in my past before Him, my hippie life. It was fun being at the museum with her and she came back to our apartment for lunch and to see photos of my old art work and what I looked like as a hippie. As I shared with her about the snares of hippidom, the right opportunity seemed to arise to share my testimony with her. I asked her to stop me if she didn’t want to hear anymore, but she didn’t stop me.
What happened afterward broke my heart though. I didn’t know that when she was younger she had gone to a girl’s yeshiva (seminary) and had received teaching AGAINST the gospel. She began by telling me that faith was good, but it didn’t matter what you believed in. By this time it was 5 PM and we had been together since 10 AM. I was tired and she had 22 year old adrenalin. Her challenges were theological, religious and philosophical and I could not express answers. My heart nearly broke. I was NOT instant, in season and out of season. I was tired. It all seemed like seed scattered by the wayside. But I do know that even now – or years from now – The Holy Spirit can take those seeds seemingly scattered and cause them to bare fruit for His kingdom.
Should any of you have room on your prayer list and should The Holy Spirit bring her to mind, would you please remember Larissa in prayer?
Soon after I was saved I went to visit my parents who then were living in a Jewish neighborhood in Florida. It very suddenly occurred to me that there was literally NO one in their lives who might be burdened to pray for them. I suddenly realized that so it was with most Jewish people who were rarely in contact with gentiles. The realization of that added weight to the burden that I had for them.
One reason, I suspect, that I had been saved, was that being way out there in the world, I had brushed shoulders with many gentiles who were really believers who PRAYED FOR ME. Thank You Lord! Now I live in a nation where I am surrounded by people who may walk through their entire lives and never meet a believer. But I am so thankful God is NOT limited by our prayers or lack of them. That makes our responsibility also a privilege to join with His Heart in such a hidden way.
Our apartment saga continues to be a bigger and bigger battle. Our landlady has had an offer (too low) and daily she is bringing people through the apartment. I have begun to peruse the local web site – yad 2 – for an apartment. It is all in Hebrew but I know key words. I enter our requirements and press “search” and get a daily list of what is available. I have, by faith, raised our maximum rent level, but the results are still slim.
We have a few limitations. My husband’s business as a self employed hair dresser is in this neighborhood. His personality is such that he would NOT be able to tolerate the travel to and from work as I do. So we are looking at this or a nearby neighborhood. My knees are giving me trouble so I am asking for ground floor. My one requirement is quiet. I don’t tolerate noise well at all.
Last night we went to look at an apartment at the top of our “by faith” maximum rent parameter, but aside from the higher rent, all else SOUNDED good. The size was right and the location was very near. The landlady wanted to rent to an older couple, pets allowed, long term lease. Perfect! It was pretty run down, but not much more then this one. Thus there was potential, but the 1st floor was 20 steep steps up, and the windows all opened onto the main street facing the train. The noise level was HIGH. It is also – like this one – a cold water flat and there is no heat. I am sharing this to ask for prayer that we will be led without too much more stress to His choice for us, and that WHATEVER His choice is, we will be satisfied. I so want this victory in my spirit. Thanks.
And so, with this move stretched out before us, our daughter is due to have our new baby on 8 Jan. I have begun praying about going to help out for 7 to 10 days in mid January. What do you think? I am concerned about my husband here alone for that long. Even one day is a struggle for him. And there is the question of being given our notice to move while I am gone and then there is my boss. So with all of this doubt and unbelief plaguing me, I am lifting up my shield of faith and asking to be able to be with our daughter to help a bit and to visit our Children and Grandchildren and to hold and (silently) PRAY over our new Granddaughter. And I PRAY to also see some of you beloved old friends from California. It has been SO many years and my love for you has grown and not dimmed. I don’t know how we can make it work, but will you pray with me? I don’t want to MAKE it work…if it is His will that I go, then I know He will open all of the doors and make the way clear to meet you dear friends.
Although I try to refrain from speaking about the situation here, I would be happy to forward to anyone interested what I consider to be good and accurate articles that come my way. Please feel free to ask if you would like to read concerning Egypt, Iran, Syria or any of the surrounding nations and their situations and how it affects us. There has been an alarming escalation of weapons fire aimed at our border soldiers along the North, from Syria over the past couple of days. Rhetoric is hot and heavy on every border and the momentum seems to be increasing daily. It FEELS as if we are sitting on a time bomb, but you have heard that from me many times over the years. Temple Mount has been closed several times over the past few days due to stone throwing. There just seems to be ‘rumblings and grumblings’ everywhere.
So will we finally turn our eyes upward? Will we, as a nation and as a people called out and chosen to follow The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, finally begin to hunger for The Word and let HIM interpret it to us instead of man and OBEY Him?
The other day as I was reading His Word and was overcome with sadness thinking of what we could have been if our forefathers would have just have simply done what He said. Obeyed Him? Followed Him? Is that what heaven will be like? And those of us who love Him, can we REALLY DO that here and now? Oh I long for that!
I am sure that you do too.
I miss you and apologize that these perhaps immature struggles have diverted me so much. May we who call upon Him set our sites and our hearts to be steadfastly gazing at Him alone. May our first love be rekindled and may He uncover all of our sins and harnesses’ that we might confess and forsake them, be forgiven and cleansed and walk in the Light as He is in the Light. May we glorify Him and finish the work.
I send you much much love,
Your sister J