Not long ago, I was blessed to travel to the Holy Land with a group from my church. It literally couldn't have been more perfect. We had the perfect guide, learned so much, laughed a lot, made new friends, and strolled through the streets without a care in the world, just enjoying the presence of God, walking where Jesus walked.
Today that isn't the case. It struck me this morning that I could have been there, touring Bethlehem or walking Old Jeruselum, when all the rockets started firing.
It wasn't me, but it was someone. I guarantee that if you ask six people if they know of someone "stuck" in Israel, you will find someone who knows someone stuck.
Someone in my prayer group has a relative who was in Bethlehem when all this started. They had to walk for miles to try to get out. Yes, walk outside, unprotected, to get to safety. They have returned to their hotel after a few days and are now holed up in a shelter in the basement. How terrifying!
I think, "That could have been me."
If it was, how would I be responding? How would my trust in God be in that circumstance? Many of us are going through tough times, pushed up against a wall with a medical decision, a challenging relationship, pressure in the job. But do we really know what "tough" is? Can you imagine living in a war zone? I can't.
In reality, we aren't that far removed from it. Research says we have six degrees of separation in life. If we ask six people if they know someone we know or have a connection to someone, we will find it. We aren't that separated.
What we need to do now is P R A Y. Pray for unity, peace, and love. Pray for those who were innocently going about their day or even walking along enjoying the streets of Israel in a tour group. How must they be feeling today? Scared. Alone. Worried. Angry. Lost.
No matter your faith, religion, social status, gender, age, or sexual orientation, Jesus died for you. You CAN have hope. When pushed up against a wall, do as Viktor Frankl did during the Holocaust while imprisoned. BELIEVE that things will get better. (Man's Search for Meaning)
As I reflect on this picture, I see a happy, joyous, prayerful group of people who were at the end of their trip, grateful for the experience they had walking the streets of Israel. Today, I pray for those who were hopeful for the same thing, who are now sitting in a bomb shelter hoping for a peaceful ending. I pray for those who have friends or family there that they can’t get ahold of or are worried about their safe return.
It could have been me. It could have been you. What we need to do now is P R A Y.
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