This is where I talk about the trip to Israel with the Forge. Besides the fact that I put Allison through misery being on the other side of the world for ten days, it was an incredible trip. Let me first and foremost say that I think that everyone should make their best effort to try to make the pilgrimage to the Holy Land at some point in their life (the earlier the better). After a minor ordeal that prevented us from making our intended flight to Tel-Aviv Friday night, we eventually got out of the states only half a day late.
We arrived... and started walking. Like the Israelites.
Want to walk through the land of mumbling? Try this piece of desert that many believe to be the well-trodden rocky ground the nation of Israel was forced to wander in for 35 of their 40 years in the wilderness. It's the maktesh, a huge scar on the earth. And thankfully we weren't here to bake in the summer heat.
We had a flashback to my Latin 3 text book. Masada. Right on the coast of the Salt Sea. A tough hike, but absolutely worth it.
This view literally stole my breath. It might have been because we hiked to the top of Qumran for it, but it was also the first real green sight we encountered after two days in the desert wilderness. Beautiful, rolling hills and a Promise Land sunset... could this possibly be Heaven?
At the Sea of Galilee, we had some fun getting over the frigidness of the water. The guys ran in and started playing Red Rover-- and, because no one can resist a Red Rover summons, we all ran in.
When we would run into the water it would sometimes look like we were walking on top of it. And after looking at the pictures from that day, I keep thinking about this passage:
And Peter answered him, Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water. He said, Come. So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. (Matthew 14:28-29)
It was a good day.
When God made His promise to the Israelites, He promised to give them the best of the lands. I know that in the past when I have thought about Israel and its geography or topography, I think a lot about deserts. About dry land. About heat and rocks.
This waterfall was just one of the beautiful things we saw in this “best of all lands.”
The Western Wall. Where a Rabbi told me how to become a righteous Gentile.
On the Temple Mount, in front of the Dome of the Rock. It's so crazy that we made it up here.
There's more I could say. I've got a quiver full of lessons and life experiences that we picked up along the journey, but I don't know where to begin. Maybe I'll get around to another post about things that get put on my heart over the next few weeks to share about the trip.