Back in 2007 I boarded a plane to a far off land. I spent nearly three weeks in Israel. Indeed it was a trip that changed my life completely. All my senses were awakened in that visit. My eyes introduced to new sights: from holy sights and refugee camps, to museums and living rooms, luscious green mountains to desert ground. I saw a people who are so far off from being anything like me yet needing the one thing I constantly cry out for: more of Jesus. My ears awakened to new sounds, languages, voices, and even to the silent cries of a perishing people. My taste buds nearly melted with all the delicious food I ate, breakfast, lunch and dinner were all a delight to experience and I did to my fullest capacity. Who can complain when you wake up to fresh Hummus, pita bread and the world's smallest apples, fresh Falafel for lunch and Kanafeh after dinner? Yet I couldn't shake off the awareness that there remains a people who have not tasted the goodness of the Lord to their fullest capacity, even to overflow. Israel carries the fragrance of Christ, to one is the scent of death and to another it is the scent of life. The scent of Israel is fresh, it's lively, it is still and mysterious. I touched the ground my Savior walked upon, sat at the Mount of Beatitudes, cried at the Church of Annunciation and floated far, far away at the Dead Sea. There are two cactus' that I remember well, I sat on one and fell on another. I touched Israel, and Israel touched my heart in a way that all these words, no words could ever describe. All these wonderful memories mean nothing in light of the promise God gave me before leaving to Israel:
I look up to the mountains—
does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,
who made heaven and earth.
He will not let you stumble;
the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
never slumbers or sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you!
The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day,
nor the moon at night.
The Lord keeps you from all harm
and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
both now and forever.
You see, I had prayed for the Lord to give me a scripture that I could take on this trip and take refuge in through out my days in Israel. It sure was a refuge and a great comfort to know that my God is my helper 24/7. I knew through these verses that I could call out to Him any day, any time, any where. He would respond any day, any time, any where because He is 1- watching over me, 2- never sleeps and 3- this was guaranteed to me for both now and forever. This promise never expires. I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Israel to the max. I did not fear, worry, become anxious or weary. I could have but I did not doubt.
I wish I could say the same to my experiences here, at home. I have feared terribly, become worried over and over, anxiety has gotten the best of me and boy, have I grown weary. I have exhausted all my resources and knowledge and at the end of it, I fall back to the question, "Where does my help come from?" Forgive me God for all the times that I have not redeemed this promise in your Word. It is my prayer that you would experience this life, your life to the max, to capacity, to overflow and in abundance as you believe and redeem (as in a coupon, lol) the promises of Psalm 121 which never expire. I Will Lift My Eyes by Bebo Norman is just the song to help us get back on our knees and lifting our eyes to our Helper. God bless YOU!
I Will Lift My Eyes, Bebo Norman
God, my God, I cry out
Your beloved needs You now
God, be near, calm my fear
And take my doubt
Your kindness is what pulls me up
Your love is all that draws me in
I will lift my eyes to the Maker
Of the mountains I can't climb
I will lift my eyes to the Calmer
Of the oceans raging wild
I will lift my eyes to the Healer
Of the hurt I hold inside
I will lift my eyes, lift my eyes to You
God, my God, let Mercy sing
Her melody over me
God, right here all I bring
Is all of me
'Cause You are and You were and You will be forever
The Lover I need to save me
'Cause You fashioned the earth and You hold it together, God
So hold me now