She’ma, Yisra’el Adonai Eloheynu, Adonai echad Ve-ahavta et Adonai Eloheykha bekhol-levavkha u-vekhol naf’sh‘kha u-vekhol me’odekha. Ve-ahavta le’re’akha ka-mohkha
Hear, O Israel! The LORD is God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your might; and love your neighbor as yourself.
Tomorrow my husband and I head out on a new adventure. We are leaving for a trip to Israel. Eleven days in the Holy Land. I’m jumping out of my skin excited.
We all want to know where we come from.
No, I’m not Jewish. And none of my family hails from the Middle East. But the singularly most important part of my life lived and breathed and WALKED the roads that I will encounter next week. I am a sucker for history and completely giddy for knowing the backstory of just about anything. (Ask my family how many times I start a sentence with “So guess what I learned on this podcast?!”) I’m also a storyteller. So the fact that I might come away with a fuller, clearer picture of what I read in the Bible absolutely thrills me.
I believe that I’m headed to Israel so that I can know His story with all of my senses. I want to better understand the metaphors, traditions, and significance of the text. I want to feel the weight of my faith and the urgency with which it should be shared. And I want to wean myself from approaching the Word solely based on what it says about me… simply put: I want to be overwhelmed by Him.
But why now? Isn’t Iran about to launch an attack? Can’t God increase my knowledge and passion right here?
Absolutely. God can reveal Himself to me anywhere and at any time. But this is an opportunity that fell into place for this year, for right now.
Look, if we waited for peace to come in Gaza we would never get to go. I have to tell you, I’m not afraid of the situation. Not because I don’t believe that violence and war isn’t a possibility, but because God is the one in charge of my time and my story.
My husband and I both place our lives, resources, home, possessions, gifts, and time on this earth in God’s hands. It’s His call. When He says I’m through, I’m heading out. It’s as simple as that. Either He is the author of my life and in control, or He’s not.
So, we aren’t afraid.
I’m not afraid of my house being broken into while I’m gone. It’s just stuff. I can get more stuff. I’m not afraid of losing my luggage on the flight. I can wear David’s clothes. (HAH.) I’m not afraid of flying. I’d like to meet Him in the clouds, anyway!
Here’s the thing: I don’t believe the Bible casually. I’m willing to stake my life on it’s Truth: that my righteousness comes from Jesus Christ alone. Because of His death and resurrection I have full assurance that my relationship with God has been restored.
If anything, I’m a little nervous about how physically demanding our trip will be. We are hiking all day, every day. So if you think about it, will you pray for our health while we are gone? Other requests: safe travel, a unified group, and open hearts for what God would teach us! We are asking to have faith that follows and eyes that see as a result of this trip.
Because I’ve spent so much time preparing for this trip, I don’t have blog posts or guest posts scheduled while I’m away. I had to let something go. But I do happen to have a link to a blog that will be updated every day while we are gone. I’d encourage you to check in and see photos, listen to audio, and read what God is doing in our group of 52 while we are away!
Knowing the God of the universe means that we can live adventurous lives without fear. Of course we apply the wisdom He has given us, but we do not need to fear!
“The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing — to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the
beauty came from — my country, the place where I ought to have been born. Do you think it all meant nothing, all the longing? The longing for home? For indeed it now feels not like going, but like going back.” C.S. Lewis
Following and adventuring,