As I wrote in my most recent blog entry, Personal Deliverance, we in Israel just finished a very special season of remembrance; we remembered the millions of Jewish men, women, and children who perished in the Holocaust, as well as our fallen soldiers and victims of terror, followed by the celebration of Israel’s Declaration of Independence 68 years ago.
This season unfortunately carries a lot of pain with it; almost every single family in Israel has known the deep pain of losing a loved one, whether a friend or family member. The reality is that there is an open wound for many people…it’s the type of wound that no man can heal, but rather that only God can heal.
As I wrote last week, I am reminded of the words of the prophet Hosea:
“I will go away and return to My place until they acknowledge their guilt and seek My face; In their affliction they will earnestly seek Me. ‘Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us. He will revive us after two days; He will raise us up on the third day that we may live before Him.’” Hosea 5:15-6:2
I’d like to return to an issue that I promised to talk about a few weeks ago on the issue of God choosing Israel, and specifically, the suffering Israel has endured over the millennia. Many ask the question, “If Israel is God’s chosen people, why do we see so much suffering amongst the Jewish people?”
First of all, let me start by saying that I believe this is a very valid question. It is one that I personally have had to deal with over the years. The most important thing to have at the forefront of our thinking when dealing with difficult questions like this is that God is sovereign, and His perspective of all things in life – including suffering and death – is completely different than ours:
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Neither are your ways My ways,” declares the LORD. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Flying in an airplane provides a great example of how different His perspective is from ours. While on the ground, everything looks big – buildings, cars, homes, etc. However, as the plane takes off, these things appear smaller and smaller as we gain altitude. When thinking about life in this way, I am convinced that God sees everything in a completely different way than we do!
For a few years after I came to faith in the Messiah, I really struggled with the question of what happened to my friends who died defending and protecting God’s Land, Israel. I remember the day when the Lord spoke to me so clearly, and said, “Stop worrying. That which is mine to care for is mine, and that which is yours is yours.” I remember the peace I had from that moment in which I let go and gave this issue to Him.
The LORD reminded me that He is sovereign and just, and that He gives a fair chance to every person, including each of my friends who are no longer with us. He alone knows where they are today, as they may have accepted Him in their last breath. If that is the truth, then I can be at peace knowing that they may be in a much better place.
My dear brothers and sisters, God is God; He is the Creator and this world belongs to Him. He sees things in a different perspective than we do, and we are free to choose to accept this, or not. But accepting this truth can release us from carrying burdens that are not ours to carry…it brings us great peace to give it to Him!
What burden are you carrying that is not yours, but God’s? Are you willing to give it over to Him, and submit to His perspective?
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