One week from tomorrow, we were scheduled to travel to Israel. It was an opportunity for my husband, Jeff, to see the land for the first time.
I had gone to this special place once before—without Jeff—and believed I could not return before he had a chance to see Israel for himself.
From the beginning, this was a tentative trip due to COVID restrictions in the land. Would we even be let in? But the government decided to open up the country on May 23rd, one day before we were scheduled to leave. It appeared we had a yellow light to make plans as there were still group guidelines we were waiting for. The tour company was fairly confident this would happen so I began to think through packing; I bought the adaptors I needed and purchased a neck pillow for the eleven-hour flight.
But then war broke out in Israel.
Unfortunately, there always seems to be fighting on the Gaza Strip but this was different. Thousands of rockets were being launched by the Palestinian militant Hamas group, and this time, some of those rockets were landing in Tel Aviv where we’d fly into, as well as in southern Jerusalem. We heard from friends and family members who asked, “Are you still going to go?” They also said, “I hope you’ll prayerfully consider staying home.”
So we prayed about what to do.
And what came to us is that this was not God’s appointed time for us to go to Israel. Our friends and family members were relieved by our decision, but even though we are not traveling there at this time, I cannot stop thinking about Israel. I may not be physically going, but my heart is there with the people. I have watched videos from Israeli pastors with the rockets lighting up the skies behind them. I know a number of people who live in the land, and have directed my prayers toward their protection.
I am also disheartened by some of the anti-Semitic talk going on across the globe because of this conflict. The Jewish residents of Israel are God’s special people and He clearly says in his Word that there are consequences for not supporting them. “Whoever blesses Israel will be blessed, And whoever curses Israel will be cursed” (Numbers 24:9).
So while Israel is on the brink of Civil War, I am praying for peace in the land once again and for a non-violent end to this conflict. I am also praying that there will be another opportunity to one day step foot on the soil of Israel again—without any fear—as God works behind the scenes to resolve the tension.
In what scenario do you need to trust God’s timing?
Won’t you join us for POP Chat on Wednesday, May 26th at 6:30 p.m. CST? Dr. Lynnette Simm will be speaking about “Being You Bravely.” Our guest Worship Leader is Flautist, Katherine Legg.You won’t want to miss this, as it’s our last POP Chat before our Summer Break. Just click on the link to sign up.