These are some of the things I wrote down as I anticipated leaving which I knew I would miss about life in the Land. Since I want to keep it short, I’ll just put the first two today, and then I’ll share a few more tomorrow.
The challenge of faith… needing to be so intentional… needing to rely so much on Jesus!
For me, it was spiritually very challenging in Israel and Palestine. Because there are so many strong opinions everywhere, I felt very guarded for much of my time there to share faith related stuff. This was silly, but still real. I also struggled to see so much religiously-based conflict everywhere. At first, I almost didn’t want to be labeled as a person of faith. Later, though, I started thinking about Jesus, and came back to understanding, with new enthusiasm, that he didn’t like religiousness either. I remembered how unbelievably hard and how opposite of human tendencies his commands are, and came back to the belief that His way is the only way. We must be humble to the point of death (Phil. 2), courageous in reconciliation, bold in faith, and committed to trusting Him, not ourselves, for the power to act in accordance with His will and for the results. In some ways, although learning these things can be incredibly exhausting, the battle can be more meaningful than the sometimes artificially easy way it can be for me to be “faithful” at home. (Please ask me if this doesn’t make sense to you, I’d love to discuss!)
I was so blessed with wonderful friends in the Land. It’s amazing how people can become like family — trusting and taking care of each other in such a short time. I will truly miss my friends and am thankful that I really expect to spend significant time with many of them in the years to come. Some friendships are like that… you strongly suspect that they aren’t just for one season.
Real, Yummy Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables in season, for great prices. Tomatoes that are really red. Apples that are normal sizes and flavorful, persimmons, pomegranates, figs, dates, orange juice squeezed in front of you. Amazing, healthy, affordable, always available. Heavenly!