“This is the day that the Lord has made let us rejoice and be glad in it”.
This is one scripture, among many others, of course, that we need to take in daily as we walk through trials and individual tribulations. Just like the weather in its extremes, it seems our lives are also subject to great and unbelievable blessings, but then sudden changes bring difficulties that we had not had to face in the past. Sometimes I feel as if I have just gotten into a boat, going with the Master on a journey that will see the lame walk, the blind see, and the dead raised. Excitement fills my soul as I wait to get to the other side, where the multitudes will be waiting to clutch on to Yeshua’s garments or perchance to have Him touch them with a healing touch. There is such a wonderful feeling of pride to be His disciple, to stand near Him while He ministers to the people, or to take the bread that He has blessed and to be able to give it to a hungry crowd.
For me to be with Yeshua in the boat, as we journey to the next experience, is the ultimate of my excitement and expectation. However, right in the midst of this heavenly voyage a storm rises with such magnitude that my heart fails within me, and I feel as if I’m about to go down with the ship. I cry out to my Heavenly Father to rescue me, but no answer comes. I grab the handle of the rudder and attempt to steer, but to no avail. Perhaps I can steady things with the oars, I reason, but I get thrown down with a large wave that collapses upon the boat. Anger arises within me to the point that I shout a rebuke against the devil, binding the strongman and casting him out. But the storm continues. Finally, at my weakest point, I look and see Yeshua resting peaceably in the very same vessel. But, do I awaken my beloved before it is time?
These past couple of weeks we have been on such a journey, greatly blessed by our visitors who came to stay with us, and by traveling with them around the country. We had experiences where we were able to see YHVH fulfilling restoration scriptures and bringing us into new relationships that truly were divine appointments, with hopes for future involvements. But in the midst of all this were the unexpected experiences that brought us before our Redeemer with a plea for deliverance. Most of us (including me) tend to ask: “Why”? “Why must Gerhard die at such an important time as this?”
I just got off the phone with our orthodox friend Nir, from the settlement of Har Bracha, whom I called to inform about the time of the funeral, as he too was very close to Gerhard. Afterwards he asked me if I had heard the news on the radio, to which I replied that I hadn’t. His report was one of those “stings” that I had made reference to in the previous week’s letter. Last night a couple picked up a hitchhiker here in Samaria (just east of us), who turned out to be a terrorist dressed up like an orthodox Jew. He blew himself up in their car killing four people (and by the way, today the Israeli news media seems to be totally silent about this affair… after all the deceased were “only” settlers). A little later I called Boaz (Chris Dreyer) with whom we stayed on Tuesday night at his and Rina’s house in kibbutz Kerem Shalom, to also let him know about the funeral. When he answered he asked me the same question that Nir did: “did you hear the news?” When I said which news, he elaborated: “The bird flu hit our kibbutz last night; 22,000 birds will have to be destroyed.”
I know by now that it is our Creator who orchestrates our circumstances before we even know what they will be. However, it is how we interpret those experiences, which will either bring on victory, or will allow the enemy to step in and interject thoughts that are not from our Elohim. Concerning such situations James the Apostle wrote: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4). This is much more easily read than applied. But why does our loving Heavenly Father create these storms?
Perhaps part of the answer lies in the fact that we are His children. “For whom YHVH loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives. If you endure chastening, Elohim deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see YHVH” (Heb 12: 6-14).
“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of Elohim, you may receive the promise: For yet a little while, and He who is coming will come and will not tarry” (Heb. 10:35-37).