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 …
Although most of us picture doves as white, the doves of Jerusalem are that beautiful ‘doe’ color, like a deer. Perhaps you wonder why I write so much concerning nature. Today I believe I understood the reason , besides the fact that I have always loved nature.
When we first made arrived, we found that our new reality demanded that we find work as soon as possible. Not being able to handle my new language at all and NOT having many qualifying skills AND being 49 years old at the time, I was happy to be offered a job with a rather well known international ministry. Being in this intense part of the world, there are probably more large, international ministries functioning here then anywhere else on earth, and not just ‘English speaking ones’ either. It is the same with news media outlets. There are more world news media groups stationed here then anywhere else on the earth. That should say something because if you’ve been here, you know what a tiny city Jerusalem is.
When I was offered work with this ministry I asked them to pray with me as there were some doctrinal issues that they held that I could not stand in agreement with, not foundational ones of course. They prayed and assured me that I was the one for the job and it would be fine. I was so thankful for the work as the main part of my job was answering many of the letters that they received and I loved that. We began each day with Bible reading and prayer and I loved the fellowship, inspite of our differences.
But the area that I was not in agreement with allowed them to embrace a false prophecy, which led them to the verge of bankruptcy. Most of the staff had to be immediately dismissed, including me. It was then that I found out that they had not been paying into our form of ‘social security’ for me, which the boss was required to do. This left me, after a year and a half of working, not being able to receive unemployment.
The Lord certainly works everything to the good and for His glory. It turned out to be the beginning of an intensive course in learning to REALLY trust Him and walk by faith in a new dimension. I had no work for two years after that. Plus, my husband was not in the country at the time – another story that ends up glorifying Him. I felt firmly that He was directing me to work in a secular job, immersed in my new ‘culture’ rather then to work again with a ministry. He surely has directed my path. But what in the world does this all have to do with ‘nature’ and ‘doves’?
Just this: Because we are such a small body here and so dispersed, I now have very little opportunity for fellowship outside of our weekly meeting, but today I realized just how much He speaks to me through His creation. I understood that I daily ‘fellowship’ with Him in this manner (as well, of course, in His Word and in prayer) and am edified. No, it does NOT take the place of ‘fellowship’ with the body (HIS perfect design) but He always provides when we want His will, and this is part of my current provision.
And now, back to our doe colored doves.
Jerusalem is covered with doves. I have learned that if they are nearby as I walk and don’t look directly at them or speak to them (yes…I do that and readily admit it), they will stay where they are. But if I look at them or speak, they will fly away. Now we all know that The Holy Spirit came as a dove so as I learned this I have thought about how The Holy Spirit did not come to speak of Himself, but to point to Yeshua, to bring into remembrance everything that He said and to magnify Him…not to draw attention to Himself.
But yesterday my attention was drawn directly to a dove sitting on the ground next to a wooden fence along my path. He looked at me and I sensed that he was injured. I went toward him and he did not move, but kept watching me. I saw that his gentle breast had been harmed, most likely by a cat. I reached down to pick him up, but stopped. Where would I bring him? There was no place nearby that would make him less prey for another cat attack, nor could I bring him to work. He would be petrified. I know enough that if I were to touch him, he would carry my ‘scent’ and that might be worse.
So, I stood and prayed simply that The Lord, Who cares for all creatures, would care for him mercifully, and went to walk on. A bit further I felt just bothered to leave him like that so I turned to go back and then I saw a most unusual sight. Another dove flew down and began to peck at him and flap his wings angrily. I felt so bad, thinking that he was being attacked UNTIL I saw him reluctantly move. Then, after some more pecking and harassment, move again, and suddenly, hesitantly, he took off in unsteady flight to a tree. The second bird came to rescue him and had likely been watching when I stooped down.
Immediately I thought of so many of the painful and harsh things that seem to come into our lives when we feel most vulnerable and I wondered at the goodness of God to ‘afflict us in His faithfulness’ (as is repeated over and over in Psalm 119, that marvelous teaching Psalm) for example 67 Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your word. And verse 71 It is good for me that I was afflicted,that I may learn Your statutes.
Do my ‘parables’ drive you crazy? I hope not. I gather strength as mana to go through my days as He blesses me with these encouragements. I actually thought about it as I was faced with my daily train ride.
Two days in a row I arrived halfway to my destination when the loud speaker announced a‘hefetz ha’shood’ or an ‘unidentified object’ that the bomb squad was being called out to investigate. We are usually advised to ‘walk’ or ‘possibly wait up to half an hour’, but this week, the first time, we were told that we would all have to get off of the train as the driver was being told to turn around and go in the other direction. The lady-older-then-myself with some 20 kilos of cherries that she had just bought at the shuk began to grumble loudly, as did the very old man with a walker. Soon there was quite a rebellion taking place as it was noon and the sun was hot and the train was crowded with elderly people with packages or young mothers with babies.
I decided to walk rather then listen to the rage. Thankfully today we were allowed to sit and wait. As we did I looked around and it hit me for the first time that our trains carry perhaps a pretty odd assortment. They are full of baby carriages and strollers, often twin strollers. There are lots of shopping carts (mine included) and then there are walkers, canes, crutches, wheel chairs, Seeing Eye dogs, shopping bags, suitcases and myriads of backpacks, not to mention weapons. More then occasionally there are also the ‘tools of the trade:’ a mop and bucket, large tool box, computers or assorted furniture being brought home. Sitting next to me today was a woman with a portable oxygen tank attached to her nose. In front of us stood a young girl with BOTH a rocking horse and a plastic push ‘bike’. And then there are all of those pregnant women. No wonder the train is always so crowed.
Things here are more volatile and tense then ever, if that is possible. I think back to the beginnings of the ‘revolution’ in Egypt that began very shortly after the US President visited there, and how ‘revolt’ has been sparked in almost the entire region. The nations on all of our borders are shaking and smoldering. And the world is so foolishly trying to ‘solve the problems’ with embarrassing rhetoric and shallow human reasoning that knows almost nothing of the ancient roots of the problems, nor of The Maker Who is watching over His Word.
The latest moves to ‘arm the rebels’ in Syria, while screaming and crying about all of the people dying, is so pathetic that it can not be seen as funny. More weapons will NOT stop the bloodshed. I look at my Bible and see so many circumstances for which there was NO HUMAN SOLUTION.
Take, for example: the Sea in front and the Egyptians behind as the Israelites came out of Egypt. Perhaps, it was thousands in the wilderness without food in both the ancient days during the 40 years in the wilderness and the nearer days when Yeshua said ‘How many loaves have you?…Bring it to Me!’ What about Legion howling in the tombs or the lame man waiting for the stirring of the waters? AND how about Yeshua dead in the tomb? Oh my, there is no end to examples. In fact the Bible is FULL of situations that there was NO human solutions.
Yet we live in an age of ‘humanism’ and seem to actually have a foot in the door of the one world system that will carry the mark for buying and selling. I can see much more clearly how that could be possible now.
When our value added tax went up 1%, I somehow thought that my bills would also go up 1%, but I have NO understanding of economics. Bills (especially grocery bills) have shot up a whopping 25%. Since wages don’t increase, I think of how young families who are not prepared by The Word, mixed with faith and the fear of God, will withstand taking such a mark. From my vantage point the world appears to be spinning faster and faster out of the control of the nations and their leaders.
There are those of you who pray for our nation. And also, I am aware that there are many who might read some of these letters who don’t find time to pray. PLEASE don’t take ANY condemnation from me when I mention those who do. It is ALL unto The Lord and we ALL do what we can and believe we are called to do. Please be released from any condemnation over this.
I would like to ask for specific prayer for a 60 year old problem that I believe our nation is poised to impose a solution that is perhaps unjust and I am very concerned. As you know we have a Bedouin population. The Bedouins are a fascinating people. They are nomads who I suspect are the people described in Jeremiah 35:1-12. They live mostly in the Negev where they move their goats and camels from place to place living in tent like structures with large extended families. (Google Bedouin if you are unfamiliar with them.)
Over the years efforts have been made to settle them in villages and extend benefits to them: education, health care, sanitation etc. They are currently listed as the most rapidly growing population in the world. Their land claims are not written down. Israel is a small nation and wants to establish its borders. Legislation has just passed to establish the Bedouin in villages against their will which strikes me a lot like ‘American Indian Reservations’.
I have a long personal history with Indian Reservations. So, my heart breaks at the thought that the same awful injury might be done here. Please pray that this legislation is somehow overturned and some just solution is found. The Druze population in the North was also nomadic and they were peacefully settled into villages, but I have a very bad feeling about this Bedouin decision. Thank you for praying if The Holy Spirit brings it to mind.
But in the midst of all of the ‘distressing news’, you likely haven’t heard of the more then 30 wounded Syrians from both sides of the conflict that have been treated in Israeli hospitals as friends or family bring them to our borders. Also, a lovely ‘peace prize’ was just awarded to our fast response health motorcycle paramedic service which was founded by an ultra religious man and an Israeli Arab working together. They have no political agenda. They simply share a passion for saving lives and have formed a nationwide service that rushes to all emergencies. In this context, a Jewish man with a kippa (skull cap) has delivered a Moslem baby and a bearded Moslem man has delivered an orthodox Jewish baby. Lives are saved and the result is trusting friendship. Peace is made through kindness, one on one, in the small ways that we can. He is our Peace. He HAS broken down every wall.
It is I who enjoy sharing, so I thank you for making time to read. Come and visit??? God bless and encourage you ever nearer to His Heart beat.
Thank you for continued prayer for our younger daughter at this time.
your sis J