“Who has ever heard of such a thing? Who has ever seen such things? Can a country be born in a day or a nation be brought forth in a moment? Yet no sooner is Zion in labor than she gives birth to her children.” Isaiah 66:8
May 14, 1948 was a day that marked a major change in the history of the world. It was a day that a country was indeed born, and a nation was brought forth in a moment. It was an historic moment – a miracle. It was a miracle that, once again, proved God’s faithfulness to keep His promises, which He gave through His prophets.
Yet, as miraculous as that day was, the reality is that Israel is still fighting for its survival. And as much as we long for the day when Israel will live securely in her borders, Israel will never know physical peace until she knows her Prince of Peace, Yeshua.
This season here in Israel is a very unique one. Sorrow is mixed with much joy as we solemnly remember those who gave their lives in defense of our country and then less than 24 hours later, we celebrate Israel’s Independence.
This year, as every year, I went to visit and encourage some of the families that have lost their dear ones due to the reality of war here in Israel. In Israel, Memorial Day is a very special day – most of the restaurants, stores, and malls are closed, and the TV and radio have programming that commemorates the fallen.
This is truly a time of reflection about the special gift of life. My son, Oriah, is now six and a half years old, and is starting to understand things. He also asks many questions. As I tell him stories about my friends who died defending Israel, I find myself needing to explain the reality of war, yet trying to be careful to not plant seeds of hatred in his heart towards Israel’s enemies.
I am now starting to think about the cycle of life here in Israel in a deeper way. I finished my military service about 16 years ago, and in 12 years or so, I am going to be sending my son to his compulsory army service. While defending one’s country holds a great sense of pride, for parents in Israel, we are essentially sending our children to war. It’s not a natural thing for any parent to knowingly put his child in danger. Yet here in Israel, it is our reality since we are surrounded by an enemy that eagerly seeks to destroy us.
The future here in Israel is not so promising…everyone knows that the next war will start sooner or later; it’s inevitable. This is not pessimism – it’s the truth. For me, all I can do is keep my eyes on God and look forward to the day that He has promised us:
“I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more.” Isaiah 65:19
May we live to see this day in our lifetime.
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