Tour Journal For Israel Study Tour with Brian Haynes May 27-June 7, 2013

Day 4 – Big Enough

Day 4 – Big Enough

Today was a BIG DAY!

Last night at sundown, the Sabbath started. Friday at sundown to Saturday at sundown we saw pictures of community all day. Families celebrating together. Children played, old men sat around and talked, and people enjoyed one another’s presence. Even our greeting changed from Shalom to Shabbat Shalom. Today was anything but restful for us, but it was a good day. We saw Mount Horeb, we saw the place where Christ very likely would have chosen his disciples by the sea, we saw Capernum and Chorazin, we saw the place where the Beatitudes were preached, and we saw Bethsaida.

From where I sit writing now, I can see Tiberius, Chorazin, Bethsaida, the Decapolis, and Capernum. They were all places in the bible that were confusing to me. Honestly, I’m guessing that most of Western Christianity is like me. We have no filter to process the names of places or their geographical location. Well, our group found those places today. They add incredible meaning to the story of the Bible. I greatly encourage you to look up this one thing after you finish reading this blog. Look where the Sea of Tiberius is (a sea found in the gospel), see where Tiberius is (a place in the gospels), see where the Sea of Galilee is (a sea in the gospels), and see where Capernum is (a place in the gospels). Maybe you’ll be as astounded as I was today.

Last night, I saw man at our Kibbutz who I guessed was an Israelite. I told him,

“I love your country.”

With a big smile he replied, “Good! How long are you here?”

I said, “For a few more days, but today (which was yesterday) we saw Masada, En Gedi, and Qumran.”

At this point, we were walking next to each other, but after I finished my sentence he stopped, slowly turned, and looked at me right in the eyes. He asked me a question I hope I’ll never forget. It’s a question so profound that I prayed about it all day. What was the question?

He asked, “Is your heart big enough for all those in one day?”

After a short period on inner reflection and with some sadness, I replied, “No. It’s not.”

So, why do I share this story with you? I do it for two reasons. First, so that you’ll pray for all of us that God gives us hearts that are deep enough to drink from the deep springs of this experience. Like I said last night, it’s difficult to fairly put words to what we’ve discovered each day. At times, it almost feels like my cup is running over except I really, really want to keep all the water. We are all desperate to keep every drop. Please pray that God would give each of us bigger hearts to take in what we’re hearing, learning, and seeing.

The second reason I shared the story with you is so that you would also be challenged to ask the Lord for a bigger heart. Like me, you’re probably skipping over names and places in the Bible when you read it, because it doesn’t seem to be significant. Or maybe, it’s been a few days since you picked up the Scriptures and poured over a few verses. Maybe, you’ve got a coworker who needs to hear your story of how Jesus walked over the abyss of your life and said, “Follow me” and you did by God’s grace. I don’t know what area of your spiritual life needs a bigger heart, but you do and God does. Pray and ask the very Maker of your heart to increase it so that you can drink more and more deeply.

Blessed be our God and Father who takes our heart of stone and gives us a heart of flesh.

Shalom

Today's Photos

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