Oh my. My head is still spinning I think! Partly from jet lag (how long am I allowed that excuse?), partly from a midnight Hunger Games showing (I couldn’t miss that!), partly from going straight into work Thursday then into a conference, but mostly because I am still trying to process this trip! I might still be processing for years..
While things are still fresh on my mind, I want to be sure and document a few things. This post will be the “easy parts.” I’ll start with the frequently asked questions I have gotten so far:
1. How was your trip?!
This is a loaded question, so the recipient here usually gets me babbling away using words and short phrases like “wonderful! I loved it. It was so full and deep- like when you get to meet the family of your new best friend for the first time. Amazing. I had no idea Israel was so beautiful! I learned so much. etc, etc.”
2. What was your favorite place?
Well, we visited around forty sites in ten days, so I typically ran on the “favorite place of the day” system during the trip, but that still ends up being a lot of places! I think I’ve settled that my top pick was Mount Arbel (photo above), better known to New Testament readers as (most likely) “the mountainside” Jesus went to pray. It was unbelievably beautiful, and overlooked the Sea of Galilee. The hike was far from easy, but that made the top that much sweeter.
Close seconds: taking a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee, hiking through the desert, touching four bodies of water I had never seen before (Mediterranean Sea, Jordan River, Dead Sea, Sea of Galilee), singing “Joy to the World” atop the Mount of Olives overlooking Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, crawling through the caves of Adullam where David wrote Psalm 57 hiding from Saul, and everything else too…
“Favorites” are tricky for a girl like me.
3. What was the biggest lesson overall that you learned?
Great question. More than anything, the Lord taught me what He has been teaching me the past year and half: God is God-centered. He is working to fulfill His purpose on earth. He is worthy of all glory and honor and praise. The story of David and Goliath, for example, is not a story of “the little guy defeating the big guy.” It is a story that proves God will not be mocked or blasphemed.
When I grasp this perspective of the Lord, it is then I realize the inconceivable truth: I have been adopted as an heir and co-heir with Christ. Loved. Secure. He is trustworthy beyond all measure.
May the Name of the Lord be glorified and worshiped in my life, and in all nations.
4. Would you recommend going to Israel?
Yes. I know it’s not a realistic option for everyone, and that’s obviously fine. I hope that no one would ever seek to worship a place. Still, it completely exceeded my expectations. I had heard it said that after going to Israel, it’s like reading the Bible in color. That is probably a fair description. I pray that I will forever remember Israel, and never forget.
More posts to come… If you’re interested in more day-to-day details & more pictures check out the trip blog:: forgeisrael.wordpress.com. I even got to write a couple of the posts!