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, Shalom! It’s a joy to write to you – to think of you and to pray for you. May we all grow in grace and in the knowledge of The Lord Yeshua h’Meshiach, Jesus the Christ. May what I share glorify Him and may He be blessed and may we all walk in only His Light.
How quickly things change. As my husband celebrated his 70th birthday this week, it seemed a good time for some introspection. I see that my life has reflected the contrasts that surround us − constant change as opposed to THE ROCK WHO NEVER CHANGES. STEADY, STEADFAST, ETERNAL, UNERRING, ALLWISE GOD. GOD ALMIGHTY, praise HIM. He never grows old or weak or dim of hearing, seeing and thinking.
The current situation literally FORCES me to stare at Him to maintain a semblance of balance. Everything that we knew as true’\ for the 70 short years of our lives seems to be turning upside down.
Reflection always paves the way to thankfulness and gratefulness when we are His, and so it did today.
The train that I take home from work stops at the Institute for the Blind, and often many blind people get on or off there. Today I was seated beside the door when a blind man stumbled getting on. I reached out and took his arm and said “There is a seat here.”
“Where?” he asked.
“Here, sit, beside the door.”
I scooted over and he sat down beside me. His kippa indicated that he was religious and I felt relieved that he knew I was female from my voice. He couldn’t see me and so he wouldn’t refuse a seat beside me. Many religious men (or women) refuse to sit beside someone of the opposite sex so as not to be tempted.
I am so thankful to KNOW THE ONE WHO DELIVERS FROM SINFUL FLESH AND CLEANSES MY HEART and that I am free to NOT “beat my flesh” in an effort to keep sin at bay. (Sorry, I’m digressing.)
The man beside me was middle aged and well dressed. He began rustling through a brief case and shook his head. “Can I help you?” I asked.
“No…I was in too much of a rush…not patient…and I didn’t make proper order of my things. It’s my own fault.”
We went on to discuss the preciousness of patience but I began thinking about how much effort it must take for blind people to organize things so that they can know where they can find them. Suddenly I found myself thinking about a testimony that I love: Blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46. No one could stop him from crying out to The Lord, not humiliation or chastening. When The Lord said to him, “What would you have of Me?”
Bartimaeus said, “Lord, that I might receive my sight.”
I suddenly began to think more deeply than ever about what a world of darkness would be like, and I was overwhelmed with such a deep gratitude for the gift of sight. Thanksgiving welled up in me and I began to thank Him for sight, for hearing, for all of the senses that He blessed us with so that we could experience His creation. I was only two stops beyond the Blind Institute, so, no, I did not pray for the man right then to see him healed and saved, but I entered my apartment with a full heart.
With the slowing down of attacks (no, they haven’t stopped but are drizzling in at 1-3 daily right now), Israel has again been bestowed with the world’s award-banner of “aggressor”, “the cause of all evil,” “the stubborn, intransigent source of the Mideast problem,” and “the one who needs to give more to placate.” Although the most liberal and self-hating among us is still scratching his head, wondering how the international community could have come up with the latest “wicked-award” for Israel.
Nonetheless, we are left as a nation grappling with the pressure of the constant accusations. They give way to ugly bickering within and blaming politically. It all serves our ancient enemy well, to see the nation beaten from outside and inside.
Attrition is a tactic and a powerful weapon.
Here are some dictionary definitions:
Attrition: the act of rubbing together; friction; also : the act of wearing or grinding down by friction : the act of weakening or exhausting by constant harassment, abuse, or attack (a war of attrition); the act or process of weakening and gradually defeating an enemy through constant attacks and continued pressure over a long period of time.
Yep. That describes it well. That’s just how it feels and it is what I see written in the deepening lines on the faces of those around me. Arafat said many years ago, that they wanted to wage a war of attrition against us. So they are doing it.
“And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” (Daniel 7:25)
Is this the season that we live in? Maybe. From my vantage point it appears so. Nonetheless I think of His many promises HE has given to us, to give strength to the weary, and His exhortations to persevere till the end. I know that He is able to keep those who are His own who look to Him for that keeping.
Following a particularly hot and dry Autumn, winter fell on us last week. Floods still grip the center of the country with massive power outages ongoing for some four days now. I know that many of you are also experiencing extreme weather conditions where you are.
We are hearing from around the world of things similar to what we saw here this week with baseball sized hail in some places. An Air Canada plane was hit by lightning and forced to land in Cyprus while entire towns are under water. As the earth sighs and heaves, and man staggers under the weight of it all, a dear local sister made this wonderful observation last week during the upsurge in terror:
”To say things have been tense in Jerusalem lately would be an understatement. Today, while waiting for my bus, I saw and heard something that lifted my spirits. I heard the music before I saw its source − a vehicle that looked as if it came straight out of the hippie era of the sixties with a pair of huge speakers mounted on the roof of its cab. When it was about a block away from where I stood, the light turned red. Out jumped about four young men (including driver) who began dancing in the street. I began to smile at the infectiously cheerful music and the sight of the young men dancing with wild abandon. All too quickly the light changed, the men jumped back in their van and drove up the street to spread their joy at another intersection. No, the music won’t solve the complex situation here but it did remind me of the resiliency of the Jewish people who have returned to their Land after thousands of years. They are here to stay.
” עם ישראל חי (it says ‘Am Yisrael chai’ or the nation/people of Israel live!)
And that says it all really. God’s plan…God’s purposes…God’s way…ALL for God’s glory. I have no doubt that as we worship Him in the midst of problems, we will have all the strength that we need to walk all the way to the end….whether it is you or me…your path or mine…as long as we are on HIS path, He will do it.
Having so much more to say, I will close and begin dinner. Work has been very difficult with the added stress. It takes a toll on people’s health and they often end up at the doctor’s office and in the waiting room. May we each shine with His Light in the “waiting room” in which we serve, because we really ARE all serving Him in some “waiting room” or another.
Thank you for praying for this nation and its people according to His Word for His purposes, and thank you for remembering my family and the other believers here.
your sis J