I wasn’t able to close my inner eyes for a minute last night but I am still too happy to sleep, so hopefully this will make sense. Two things happened yesterday to replace my sleep with praise and worship throughout the night; One came through the loan of the English translation from Finnish of a book by ‘Unto Kunnas’ called Kaarols Syvanto – Pioneer – Forty years in Israel. It is the testimony of a man so led by God through shocking obstacles by way of a vision of the resurrection and final salvation of Israel…and let me tell you…I NEEDED to be reminded to get my eyes back up onto HIM and remember that not only is HE able…and not only is HE willing…but this IS HIS HEART…the salvation of this country! I NEEDED my vision renewed.
The other testimony is LUBA!
Over the past years I have mentioned this dear sister from Russia as she has needed prayer or as I have described our friendship. Seven years ago she received a diagnosis of advanced cancer that shook her. Her subsequent surgery, radiation and chemo were traumatic and plunged her into a black hole of severe depression and anxiety even though she was physically healed. It was very difficult to be around her negativity, fears and doubt through this time, and yet she constantly sought prayer, counseling, and ran from this course on deliverance to that conference. It was frustrating to us as a body because we all tried to help (I would call her weekly and pray with her and others too I’m sure) but nothing happened. There it is…it WASN’T a matter of all of the things that she did ‘wrong’ or that were ‘wrong’ with her…but that WE were all faced with fervent’ … UNANSWERED prayer, and that for seven years!
A couple of months ago I noticed a difference. Her facial features, which had been ‘flat’, were more animated. It SEEMED as if ‘life’ was seeping back in. Last night at women’s prayer meeting, it was her turn to share. She called me about a week ago and asked for prayer as she was going to be the one speaking. (Each month a different one of us shares) I prayed and called her on Mon night to pray with her. I had a strong sense of anticipation…and it was not without reason! She has been set free! She shared in great detail about the path of her journey and I was not alone in weeping. She said that each prayer, and many of the courses, tapes, and conferences helped…but it was a ‘process’ that she wouldn’t have changed now for the world, because HE took her into the desert to strip her bare, expose her and finally set her free into HIS fullness by sovereignty delivering her from besetting sins and bondages that she didn’t even know were there. This sister is my age and is a widow with one daughter and 7 grandchildren.
There were just 10 of us at this meeting. One of the group was K. whom you also prayed for. She had an epidural during the delivery of her last baby and now sits in a wheelchair while raising 2 young daughters. We have prayed and fasted for her. What HOPE she was given through this victory! Another was A. who grieves so for four sons who are not walking with HIM. There is C who has wonderful children serving The Lord, but one son and her husband come and then turn back again and again…each one of us has been ‘baring long’ with something painful the mystery of unanswered prayer… wondering ‘why’ and ‘how long’ and if we can continue to ‘walk in hope and live in faith’.
And on top of that we live in Jerusalem…a city with promises in the midst of great battle. How encouraged I am again to have my eyes on the One Who fulfills the promises instead taking notice of the dust of the battle!
Much of my ‘dust’ settles on me during my daily battles – the bus and train rides as you well know! It was ‘right’ that I should begin this letter with the VICTORY of THE LORD rather then anything else. It has been an interesting week… this time approaching the day when much of the West and most Christians celebrate the birth onto this earth of The Messiah, The Lord Jesus Christ, Yeshua h’Meshiach. We live half a world away from America here (as others of you reading this do in other countries) and yet the news of the murder of the children there impacted this country in a way that I didn’t expect. The first day was of banner headlines in the Hebrew press ‘America Weeps’. I watched as parents here hugged their children closer in horror of what happened. The third day was what startled me. Having gone through the last intifada when our front pages were decked with black framed photos of those who had been killed over the past 24 hours, here was our Hebrew newspaper with the photos of each child framed in black on the front page. I wondered if other countries were doing this. Perhaps. I don’t know. On the bus people were somber looking at the pictures, sitting quietly. Israelis are no strangers to grief…but our pain comes from an ‘enemy’…not from our midst. Automatic weapons are abundant on our buses and trains and even in our schools, but they are not used except to defend the people. Israel is known for it’s (I feel) extraordinary love for its children. Golda Meir (one of our Prime Ministers) is known for having said (among other things):
“Peace will come when the Arabs will love their children more than they hate us.” And: “What bothers me most is not that Arabs kill our children, but that they force us to kill theirs.”
I took the train to the dentist and (with my mouth pried open :-\) listened to the dental assistant asking the doctor in thickly accented Russian Hebrew, ‘How could someone do this?’ Being in the dentist chair for a LONG time afforded me the opportunity to think about the strong Israeli reaction (that is continuing). Immediately groups formed to see how they could help those who perhaps were ‘falling through the cracks’ in America. I heard of one group bringing cakes and baked goods over to the ‘first responders’ and explaining that they were themselves first responders and people don’t realize how much trauma those first at such a scene go through. They went, at their own expense, to ‘be friends and support’. I thought about this nation and the, perhaps, ‘peculiar heart’, tender and giving, and the way it is portrayed in the media… and I prayed.
I understand that you are likely super busy right now. I have some personal things to share and PLENTY more ‘observations’, and will do that in the next email rather then extend this one. May The Lord be central in your day today, and bless your path in Him. Thank you for letting me share my intense ‘awe’ at The Lord Who answers prayer and delivers! I miss you all! Lovingly, your sis