Hi and welcome to today’s look inside Israel! I’m breaking up J of Jerusalem’s letter that she sent August 19th, so here is part 1. Thank you so much for reading and praying, for Israel and for J and her family! Now, here’s J . . .
Dear sisters and brothers,
It feels GOOD to sit with you, even if it is a short time. I ask that The Lord be blessed and glorified, and may you be blessed. He is just so good and faithful in the midst of all storms!
There are changes in the air on many levels this week and, as usual, I find them reflected in my conversations on the bus, and now the train. Actually it was the train that gave me the most insight this week. I had a number of opportunities to share my small seed…more then usual, and that brings me joy. May doors open to be bolder and may Abba also find joy!
One conversation that I had on the train, coming home, sort of typified the week. Finally getting a seat, another woman hit the seat next to me at just about the same moment. We smiled at one another and sighed with a combination of fatigue and
thankfulness at having a seat. Both of us had full shopping carts and had been waiting for at least 25 minutes as an unidentified package (hefetz ha shood) was being ‘zapped’ by the bomb squad up at the central bus station. It was 2:45 in the afternoon under the 33celcius (91farenheit) glaring sun.
She started, ‘There USED to be all sorts of buses to take…now…this train! It is a disaster!’ I should have resisted, but didn’t. My nasty flesh kicked in and I could only agree. Within a very short period of time we were ‘venting’ our frustration (I am ashamed to admit…murmuring and complaining!) and experiences concerning the ‘train trial’. It felt ‘good’ to the flesh…even ‘righteous’. Thankfully I have been praying this week with a renewed intent, seeking The Lord to draw me nearer and warm my heart…to use a fine tooth comb and weed out the ‘weed-seeds’ and throw out the stones…and to prepare me for Himself AGAIN. He convicted my heart and stopped my mouth mid sentence.
Suddenly I said to her ‘Well, it seems to me now that my main job is to guard my heart against anger. I could be angry at least twice a day – to and from work- and that is awful! So I have been trying to remember to BLESS the train and to BLESS Jerusalem.’ She looked at me ‘That is WONDERFUL’ she said. ‘It is much better. We should all do that. How do you do it?’ I told her that, first of all, I love to hear the first bird of the morning, and I get up at 4:30 every morning to quiet myself and prepare my heart for the day. She was horrified! ‘4:30 in the morning? Why do you get up that early?‘ I began to explain; ‘Well, first of all, I have to leave for work at 6am, and although I am NOT religious, I quiet my heart by reading my Bible every day in my mother tongue.’ She smiled ‘Ah. You read the Psalms.’ Most women comfort themselves daily in the Psalms. ‘Well, I read them too, but I begin at the beginning of the Bible and read ALL the way through…to the end.’
I continued. (How I wish that the door had opened to explain that MY Bible also includes the Brit h’Hadasha (New Testament), but it didn’t.) ‘Next, I pray from my heart, not from a book, and I ask God to teach me and lead me and that He would make my heart tender and that I could KNOW HIM.’ Her eyes were wide! ‘You can DO this?’ she asked. ‘Oh yes! God loves for us to come to Him! He teaches us by His Holy Spirit.’ She was really listening and smiling. ‘This is wonderful! No wonder you have that heart!’ We were like a small ‘pod’ of joy and quiet in the midst of the crowded, angry sea of riders. My stop was approaching and I got up to leave. ‘Na’aim meod! (so nice to meet you!)’ she said to me, and I repeated the same to her, meaning it with all of my heart. ‘It is so good that you believe (or have faith)’ she said. I was alarmed. ‘No!’ I said emphatically; ‘It is SO wonderful that we have our God! He is faithful!’ It was like a light went on in her face and I can only pray that our interchange make her hungry for Him and perhaps ‘hopeful(?)’ to enough to seek Him herself.
As I said, there was an unusual number of such opportunities this past week.
(more next Sunday from ani b’derek . . your Sis from Jerusalem!)