May ALL glory and honor and attention and blessing go to Him and may you be encouraged and blessed!
I woke as usual onJanuary 1 to prepare for work, as it is a regular work day here. Since I get up at 4:30 a.m. to dress and then spend time with The Lord before leaving at 6:15, I opened the shutter at sunrise and was stilled by the sight of very dramatic black billowing clouds streaking across the sky.
On and off, the clouds opened up and dumped rain, like rounds from an automatic weapon, and then stopped. When I got to work at around 7 a.m., there was a HUGE clap of thunder and lightning and that was that. Suddenly, it was over.
“Huh. What is this about, Lord?” I thought.
By 7:30 there was no sign of the early drama and when I spoke to my husband about it he said, “What rain and thunder? There was nothing like that here.” (meaning after he woke up).
I’m not much into signs and omens unless really tweaked by The Lord, but it perked my interest. Surely, Israel is in deep water. In fact, since we have moved here, dramatic events have often been matched with dramatic weather.
Immediately coming to mind is a vivid memory of sitting around a Passover Seder table with neighbors and their families, perhaps 20 people. The weather that particular evening had been very dramatic with pouring rain, wind, hail and finally snow with thunder and lightening. It was springtime and very unusual.
One young man was in army and had his cell phone turned on. In the midst of the Seder, he got a phone call. We all knew that it couldn’t be good as phones, even if they are turned on, don’t ring on Holydays. The Passover massacre had just occurred in Netanya, blowing up a hotel where many had gathered for large Seders. The intifada had become a war.
Likewise, today I am home as the result of an intense, large winter storm. Following the difficulties resulting from last year’s massive snowfall, the country took this forecast seriously and has prepared itself. Perhaps, over-prepared might better describe the sometimes humorous panic.
Better than a repeat of last year when we were without electricity for 5-10 days and roadways impassible for as long. Trees were broken in half all over the city and the army came door to door with hot soup, bread and blankets to check on the emergency needs of cold, vulnerable people.
Now, I grew up in NYC and remember winters when the water froze in the toilet. Then I spent some 15 years raising our children in a remote part of Alaska, having before that lived in rural Washington state, rural northern California and various other northern places, but each of these areas were prepared for cold weather. The locals knew how to deal with it wisely. That is not the case here.
With all of our buildings made of stone to withstand the desert blasts of heat for most of the year, they hold the cool air well. Actually, very well. Stones radiate cold and heat as well as the summer draws to an end. I remember one particularly cold winter in Alaska where we sealed off all of the bedrooms and camped out in the living room around the wood stove drinking hot chocolate and reading books aloud. That winter even blankets on the walls did not keep them from forming ice inside. It was cold, but we were prepared and were also young.
Last year, I wasn’t prepared for the electric oven not to work. That meant no bread baking to add heat the heat-less apartment. We ran out of kerosene for our kerosene heater, but we were far better off then the many who relied totally upon electricity for heat and light. The sheer COST of heating when it is this cold is an added problem. All communication was down as even battery run items couldn’t be re-charged.
I taught many people to cover their heads, hands, necks and feet in the house. Why? We lose most of our body heat through these extremities. Plus, it’s good to stock up on hot water bottles. The deep expression of community touched me as the whole country constantly checked on neighbors. Troops of young volunteers fanned themselves out through neighborhoods.
The main roads leading to Jerusalem were shut down today with the first brief flakes of snow in an overreaction to last year’s mad dash to the capital to see the snow when it began. Many thousands or cars were stranded and abandoned across the frozen roads making them inaccessible to both emergency vehicles and snowplows. The plan is to keep them free of vehicles, clear them, and only THEN re-open them.
The roads had to be re-opened after a couple of hours as the storm waited outside of the city, promising to hit later in the day. The USA actually issued a travel warning, not to go to Israel unless absolutely necessary because of the snow.
Life has its humor…and sometimes it is cold.
I am thankful for the humor because life here can be awfully intense and stressful. Our filthy election campaigns are in full swing and the accusations hurt my ears and heart, but they DO spur me to pray. Several ISIS cells have been uncovered here in Israel and not just on our borders.
The battle with the Palestinians has intensified in the world arena. The media ignorance, opinions, arrogance and out and out lies could have us in tears constantly if we looked at them…and God forbid believed them! It is growing nastier and more dangerous all the time. Harper Collins, a huge world-renowned English publishing house, just published their new world atlas eliminating the State of Israel from their maps. Too offensive to the Arab nations with which they do business. The BDS Movement (boycott, divestment, sanction) against Israel has mushroomed on college campuses around the world with the help of social media and is spreading at epidemic rate.
I have been reading the Minor Prophets. My knees at the beginning of each book, knowing that the causes for judgment upon Israel are here again now, Then the ending of each book brings awesome praise to my heart because of the vision of restoration. On the 15th of January, it will be FORTY YEARS since He reached down and plucked me from the flames of Hell at almost the last minute.
I have read the Bible from beginning to end for 40 years now. And finally, it is becoming clearer for me to understand how great is His mercy and how His mercy is revealed through His unique dealings with Israel. My heart literally pounds as I see it and is so incredibly beautiful! And best of all, it is true. We will yet see the fulfillment of His great and precious promises.
Has He not been faithful to each of us? And in His dealings with Israel? More then 5,000 years of faithfulness to Israel. He has chastened yes, but patiently waited for what will happen… just as He patiently waits for each of us to get it.
May each of us be drawn nearer to His heartbeat for His glory. Blessings!
your sis J