The Shuk in Jerusalem
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 —
“BE THOU MY VISION, O LORD OF MY HEART. NOUGHT BE ALL ELSE TO ME SAVE THAT THOU ART…”
With great thanksgiving I write this note to you. May The Lord be blessed and glorified. May you be blessed and encouraged.
Some of you might recognize the first line of the old hymn above. It has always moved me with its particularly profound and yet simple words. To me they pierce the heart in these last days: NOUGHT BE ALL ELSE TO ME SAVE THAT THOU ART. Or, in more modern English: don’t be anything else to me except Who YOU ARE.
Oh that IS the cry of my heart on this, oh blessed of days, my 43rd birthday in HIM! Forty-three years ago today, on the 15th of January 1975, HE pierced my darkness with HIS LIGHT. HE swallowed up my death in HIS LIFE. HE vanquished my lies with HIS TRUTH. THE ONE WHOM I didn’t know of, hadn’t heard of, didn’t believe in, killed me and made me alive IN HIM, transferring me into HIS kingdom. HE cleansed me from all of that filth of sin in HIS precious BLOOD. I DIED and in HIM I LIVE. What a TRIP it has been!
And I look around me and I see people making HIM into all sorts of things that I don’t recognize. Things that pertain to this world and this flesh and I sing BE THOU MY VISION O LORD OF MY HEART. NOUGHT BE ALL ELSE TO ME SAVE THAT THOU ART. Let me know WHO YOU ARE. AND LET ME LOVE YOU AS YOU ARE. Not MY will – YOURS! I think back to how many times in these 43 years I have actually heard brothers and sisters say, “Well if God is going to allow that…I am not so sure that I want to serve Him.”
Mark 4:36 says “ And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship…”
Sometimes OUR understanding of blessing is something totally different than His. Will we still walk?
So today, as I was walking to work in the rain, I was overwhelmed, literally overwhelmed, by the sheer GOODNESS of such a GREAT GOD. I thought back to the horrors of my life before Him: the bondages that He loosed me from and/or gave me the weapons, teaching my hands to war and the command to RESIST, STEADFAST IN THE FAITH. I thought back to the walk and I worshipped Him. What else could I possibly do?
Has it been easy and always victory? HAHAHA! NO WAY! BUT HE HAS ALWAYS BEEN THERE…FAITHFUL…AND INTO HIM I CAN RUN!
Today was my last day of work before going to the hospital. I have had to train my replacement. DID I TELL YOU THAT SHULAMIT DID NOT TAKE THE JOB? I think that I did not. I wrote to you about this superwoman, perfect for the job, but she said that her husband vetoed it saying that is was against halacha (the religious law) for her to bring our boss water. She could not serve another man besides her husband. Mali, Kinneret, and Shiran, three other secretaries, all religious, were in shock.
Not allowed to bring a cup of water to our boss?’ Mali shook her head. Ridiculous! That is not halacha. That is jealousy and control. Yes, it is ALL subject to discussion. I wondered in how many ways I too was guilty of making Him into something that He is not…nought be all else to me save that Thou art.
So a young, 25 year old man is taking my place while I’m gone and his name is Daniel. Another one to pray for. He is a lost soul, searching among bottles of alcohol and the magic mushrooms of Peru for answers. He was a medic in the IDF and then spent a year trekking all over South America. He found experiences but no answers. He found hangovers but no Truth.
I had to call him to wake him up to get to work and now he sat beside me learning to serve these people, and we had fun together. This young lost soul and I – His Grandma’s age. My boss came out and hugged me. His “Hurry back well” made me smile. How MUCH I battled to learn this job at the beginning and how much he would have loved to fire me. BUT GOD! WHO IS RICH IN MERCY, HAD OTHER PLANS.
He still has other plans!
Our Prime Minister is currently in India being warmly received. The country watches with interest. The IDF destroyed another terror tunnel yesterday between Gaza and the borders of both Israel AND Egypt, he third tunnel of late. And the country watches. Today inspectors at the port intercepted another HUGE shipment of weapons and military gear and uniforms – destination was to be Gaza Strip. And the country watches. Last night Mahmud Abbas of the PLO made a scathing speech to the Palestinian parliament, really putting it out there and saying honestly what we all knew, that he totally rejects any legitimacy of the existence of Israel. Everyone listened.
We see through a glass darkly still. We think we know more than we do. His ways are higher than ours and His thoughts way above ours and we’ve been purchased by Him at such a high price. We can only bow down and worship.
I have to tell you what happened. Oh glory to God!
I received a generous surprise gift. Very thankful. I sought for His direction as to how to share it and I felt strongly as if He said, “WAIT. I have gone before you and you will see the need.” So I put it aside, but NOT FOR LONG.
Last Sunday (a regular work day here…Saturday being our Sabbath, Shabbat) I did a month’s worth of shopping AND a month’s worth of cooking. Like the rich fool in chapter 12 of Luke I looked in my refrigerator and freezer, and satisfied I said to myself something like, “I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease;'”
Out of context? Yes! But you get the idea. I felt pretty good about MY work.
Tuesday I came home and went to make lunch for my husband, BUT, when I opened the refrigerator I was hit by a blast of HEAT and a STENCH. My refrigerator had DIED. My husband checked the motor and sure enough – dead. The frozen food was all that was left, but to save that we would have to go and buy another refrigerator NOW. And to get delivery the same day would take a miracle.
I prayed. I thought to the gift that had gone before us and went and got it as we called our son in law. He was in Tel Aviv but said that he would return immediately to help us. If we, an older couple without great Hebrew and understanding of the system went to buy a frig, we would have ended up paying double and we knew that.
Yitzhak came home at about 4p.m. and we began our search. He took us to a place where we bargained and I found what I wanted BUT ALAS IF I WANTED IT TODAY – THERE WAS ONLY A DIFFERENT ONE AVAILABLE. THE MIRACLE WAS THNAT I HAD PERFECT PEACE.
We were tired and it was late. The gift, the provision that went ahead was enough to cover the entire cost. By 10 p.m., we had a new refrigerator. The frozen food had mostly been saved and I HAD THIS PEACE.
Do you remember the PEACE, that PERFECT SILENT PEACE that you had in your heart when He first came in and took possession of you? Where had all of that NOISE gone? That has GOT to be one of the most amazing things. HIS HAND upon our hearts and the holy stillness that comes to that trembling heart.
Oh what a gift! I can only shout GLORY!
And it is with that peace that I head to the hospital on Wed. Yes, I do not have fear, but His peace. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for bearing with me and encouraging me and for the joy of being part of one another in Him. MAY HE BE OUR VISION, JUST AS HE IS and may we be held safe in Him, as He is, until that perfect day.
your sister J