I’ve had so many friends and family members ask me to tell them about my trip, but I’m having a hard time doing so. More than just going to amazing places, more than just seeing amazing things, more than just hearing amazing teaching, my trip to Israel was a spiritual experience that can’t adequately be explained — and, in some ways, more personal than I care to share.
How can mere words express the thrill of…
…walking along the shores of Galilee where Jesus performed miracles and healings?
…looking down on the plains of Megiddo, where armies will gather for the final war?
…staring in amazement at the vast, barren Judean wilderness, wondering how Jesus survived 40 days?
…going up, up, up to Jerusalem and seeing its ancient walls for the first time?
…walking where my dear Savior, Jesus Christ, walked — over the Mount of Olives, up the southern steps, down Cardo Street, beside the Pool of Bethsaida…?
…retracing Christ’s steps and attempting to imagine the agony He endured as He prayed in Gethsemane, stood silent at Caiaphas’s house and in his dungeon, testified to truth before Pilate at the Roman Praetorium, carried His cross up the Via Dolorosa, and crucified at Skull Hill — agony He endured for me?
…shouting “Hallelujah!” when walking into the Garden Tomb and seeing it empty? (!!)
…continuing to weep over and pray for my dear friend Ronnie (my Jewish guide) and the rest of the unbelieving Jews?
The list could go on and on. How can I put all this into words that another can fully understand and experience with me? It’s impossible. All I know is that I’ll never read the Bible the same way again. I’ll never teach the same way again. I’ll never pray the same way again. Indeed, I will never be the same again.
I may have left Israel, but Israel will never leave me. A part of me remains in the land and I long to return. As for me, Israel is no longer just a country; she is Israel, my beloved!
(For your own Israel experience, I highly recommend this Israel Study Tour by Precept Ministries International. For more information, see www.precept.org.)