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 …
Beloved sisters and brothers in Yeshua, I greet you in The precious Name of our Lord, may He be blessed and glorified, and may you be blessed today.
Well…where would I begin. I have missed all of you in this season of personal change and challenge. Nothing has been comfortable for me, but I strive to rest in the new realities of my life. This is NOT an attempt to sound spiritually squeaky clean, because I am NOT. But I do want to be transparent as I try to share what is going on, since many of you have been praying for us and I so thank you for your prayers.
In other times of my life, it seemed easier to blend His Life in me with the daily situations. Oh, I am NOT saying life was easy by any means because we all have our mountains. But my surroundings always gave me a corner of comfort for myself. I have been so blessed to live in such beautiful regions where it was peaceful and there were beautiful things to look at. I have always had a chair with my Bible beside it, which added to the peace. Ah, the seasons of life! How GOOD He was to give me such blessings, and how GOOD He is to take it away now.
As I write this, there is the piercing scream of a shop alarm going off. It has been going for over an hour across the street from us. Although it is Shabat, on this main road the din of traffic is only drowned out by the loud groups of people enjoying the sunshine, children playing, and teens blaring music.
We were blessed by the young people from my fellowship (kehila) who came to help my husband paint while I visited our children in America. This past Shabat, one of them, Tsaki, said to me, “I really loved your new apartment when I stood out on the merepeset(sort of balcony). It is RIGHT in the middle of everything and you can pray for the whole city. I choked! Tsaki and his family live in a beautiful, quiet, rural yeshuv (village).
I answered in my head, “Well I have plenty of opportunity to pray for the whole city as I ride the packed trains and buses to my stressful job every day.”Thank God, the words did not come out of my mouth. But his words burned their way into my heart adding another “nail in a sure place.”
I walked out onto my merepeset later on and looked down. There were 3 young guys getting drunk. Across the railroad tracks was the newly widowed neighbor, standing, lost in his grief. “Yes Lord,” I answered. “Make me willing to embrace all of this change that I didn’t want, that isn’t comfortable. Give me a new heart to pray for all of these LOUD people. Heal me, Lord, from this tremendous aversion to noise.”
Noise! I told you that I was born in New York soon after the end of WW2. I remember listening to radio dramas from that time period, maybe I was 6 years old. I had 2 favorites: Flash Gordon was one, but the other was Sergant Preston of the Yukon with his dog King. It began with a wolf howl and the sound of the wind and for a space of time it drowned out the noise of the city for me. I determined that SOMEDAY I would escape the noise and live where I could hear the wind and the wolf howls.
I don’t know how old I was when my Mom traded her trusty carpet sweeper in for a modern noisy vacuum cleaner, but that was life changing for me. Even as a teenager I would put my hands over my ears and scream at the top of my lungs because the noise grated on my nerves so badly. If I were growing up today there would definitely have been a label for me. My extreme aversion to noise directed my feet OUT of the city to the Northwest as soon as I was old enough to leave.
So you see, The Lord has been so good to me with His dealings. Slowly, slowly molding and changing me toward HIS will and Image as I could bare it. “But Lord! I STILL can’t bare it!” I grumble.
“MY grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness,” He answers gently.
And you HAVE to have a sense of humor.
“Bare fruit for the kingdom,” He says.
The ceilings in 3 rooms leaked badly at first. Now there is only one place that leaks and that’s when our upstairs neighbor flushes her toilet. We finally hooked up the washing machine to do a MUCH needed load of wash and the washer was apparently broken in our moving. My computer crashed. (Thank GOD for a sis who hears from The Lord who GAVE me this laptop while on my trip.) Speaking of laundry: the clothes line is out the back window, but I’m short and can’t reach it. When the washer DOES work, it will have to go in the bathroom and empty into the tub. The kitchen is the tiniest I have ever had, but it is convenient to turn around from the sink to the stove or frig without taking a step. But there is no place to put 40 years worth of active cooking ware or even 2 plates. Then the drains backed up and the door lock broke while my husband was outside in his breakfast clothes with the dog and a cup of coffee.
I am VERY set in my ways. Who knew? HE did. Thank You Lord!
“Change” was the flash word for Mr. Obama and change he has wrought. The middle, far and near east are a broil with anarchy and blood in the streets. The piece…uh…peace negotiations are bringing us dangerously close to the edges of God’s Patience and His Plan. And in the midst of it, God, the Lord God Almighty, The Eternal I AM, The Way, The Truth, The Light, The Word, The Door ,The Shepherd, The Baby, The Lion, and The Lamb who went to the cross for me, has taken time out to change me, and it ain’t pretty. But it is GOOD.
It is comforting to know that although the changes going on in the flesh are bringing bloody manifestations of the kingdoms of darkness and the flesh, that The Patient King of the eternal kingdom IS building His kingdom and if He is working so much in me, I have no doubt that many of you are also under His anvil.
I stood at the crowded train station last week grimacing at the thought of the sardine can ride I was facing. They had just announced yet another “hefetz ha’shood” (unidentified package that would require bomb squad disposal) and after about a 20 minute wait, the train would be a nightmare when it came. As I watched the people mulling around, 2 young pigeons caught my eye. In the midst of it all, the young male bird was trying awkwardly to court the young female who wanted none of his attention. They hurried and scurried here and there in and out of the crowds of oblivious people, dancing about as unconcerned by the people as the people were about them. Two kingdoms (in this case birds and people) side by side in an odd dance. My “word” (in this case a phrase) from The Lord to meditate on this year is: “Look away unto Yeshua.”
I had become distracted by the world and now He is weaning me.
So, thank you for your prayers, but don’t pity me because it’s just my flesh which is suffering. It will continue to suffer until it is dead…that old dead to self but alive to Him is my goal. To know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering, being made conformable to His death, the pearl of great price.
It is time to leave for kehila. Hopefully I will not soon write another self centered letter like this one, but I do thank you for your prayers.
May His grace and peace be evident in each of us and may HIS kingdom be enlarged. I send you deep deep love.
your sis J