In my most recent blog entry, A Living Testimony, I wrote that it is a great honor to live in such a time as this! Yet, with great honor comes an even greater responsibility to share His story in each of our lives with others. What is His story in your life? Are you telling others?
This upcoming week is a very significant week for me. It is a week of reflection and remembrance. People throughout the world will stop to remember the six million Jewish people murdered by the Nazis on Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Remembrance Day), followed by Yom HaZikaron (Day of Remembrance for Israeli fallen soldiers and victims of terror), which is then followed by Yom Ha Atzma’ut, Israel’s Independence Day.
All of the above days are part of God’s story in my life. While both sets of my grandparents came to Israel before WWII, unfortunately many of their relatives never made it to the Land, as they were systematically murdered by the Nazi Regime in Germany and Poland. When I reflect on the horrible, senseless events that took place in Europe only 80 years ago, as well as the direction in which Europe and the rest of the world is heading today, I am grateful for the great privilege that I have to live and raise my family in the Jewish State of Israel.
However, I have a deep understanding of the great and costly responsibility of living in God’s Land. It is during this season that I think about my friend, Gili, who tragically died in army training before I joined the army. I think about Anan, Yuval, Eyal, Yaron, Maya, Adi, Ya’ir, Yoel, Nadav, Ori, Eitan, and many more of my army friends who died in the various Israeli wars and terror attacks. I think about the great honor I have to raise my children in the Land of Israel because of their (and many others’) great sacrifice.
It is during this week, at the end of Yom HaZikaron, when the Israeli flags go up and we celebrate Israel’s Independence Day, that I am reminded of the great honor I have to live in the Jewish State of Israel because I can recognize God’s endless grace, love, and faithfulness in fulfilling those promises of old.
All these tragic events of the past help me to appreciate all that I have in the present. Just a few days ago, a good army friend told me that he can’t believe how much I’ve changed from my army days, and the strong belief I have today. For many years, I lived my life without much hope, not just for my own personal life, but also for my country – the place that I love so much and for its people. It was the new life that Yeshua gave me that has transformed me and given me hope for the future.
As I reflect upon the pain of the past, I am thankful for His peace in the present, which gives me much hope for the future. 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 braise us up on the third day that we may live before Him.’” Hosea 5:15-6:2
It is during this week that I ask you to join me in prayer for His peace to dwell amongst His people, His Land, and His city, Jerusalem. May we know His peace that passes all understanding, and may it guard our hearts and minds in Messiah Yeshua (Phil 4:7).
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