I wish I were better with words. I’m going to try to convey what’s filling my heart but I know the words will fall short.
For the past six days I have been in Israel with my husband and our dear friends, John and Carla Moore. The experience has far exceeded my expectations. I’ve visited Beersheba where Abraham lived and probably received the call to offer up his son. I’ve stood in the very valley in which David ran to meet Goliath (and even pulled five smooth stones from the same brook he did). I’ve explored the impressive sites of Masada and Megiddo. I’ve seen the wildernesses and the Shephelah. And so much more.
I knew I’d love it all. I can already tell that I will never read my Bible the same again. I knew I’d learn more about geography, archaeology, and history. What I wasn’t expecting was the soul-searching that would accompany it.
I’ve been impressed with the courage, bravery, faith, and trust of God’s people in harsh environments or overwhelming odds. Would I be brave in the same situation? Would I trust God when I couldn’t see my way through? It’s been good, so good, to hold my heart up for examination.
But today was something special. Today we went to the Sea. We hiked up a path to the top of Mount Arbel. There were sheer cliffs along the way. When we crested the top and took in the view of the Sea of Galilee and its northern shore, it was as if all the noises around me faded away and I could only hear my own breathing. My heartbeat slowed as it dawned on me what I was actually viewing.
Up to this point, we’ve visited places where great men and women of God have lived out their faith. Today we came to the place where the Son of God lived out His faith so He could walk with us through ours. I saw the towns where He taught in the synagogues. I saw the shoreline where He called His disciples and where He would later have breakfast with them. I stared at the waves on which He walked and imagined the storms that He calmed. Jesus taught the Sermon on the Mount here. He healed here.
As the four of us took it all in, John led us in a verse of “How Great Thou Art.” Then he prayed a beautiful, heartfelt prayer of praise. I couldn’t help but think that perhaps Jesus prayed in the very same spot when He would go up on the mount by Himself. Jesus. My Jesus. Today, and the next couple of days, I am walking where He walked.
So many things happened by the Sea on the Sea in the life of Christ. The same sea is surrounded by bustling and thriving towns today. The same sea is filled with boats.
I am walking where He walked and in awe of that fact. But what would He want me to see here? The Sea? As impressive as it all is–the cliffs, mountains, villages, and the blue, blue water–there are people all around the Sea who still need to see Jesus in their midst.
Only one place on earth is where Jesus walked but every place on earth is where He wants us to go and tell others about Him.