I love settling into a restful Shabbat. This is one thing that I really love about living in Israel. After a long week, it is great to have a day that can help the tension melt away. If resting on Saturday is not something that you can do in your country, make sure you can take a "Shabbat" on another day of the week. Shabbat is a time of drawing into the Lord, but it is also a gift from the Lord so that we can have rest. The Lord doesn't mean for us to be busy seven days a week. We were also blessed to have had Callie's father here with us for a short visit. He couldn't stay away any longer and he just had to see his grandson Aviel. Aviel is growing at a staggering rate. Three days short of his 5 month birthday, he started to crawl and he hasn't stopped. Two weeks ago, he started saying "Momma" and "Abba". We are pretty sure he hasn't identified yet who goes with what name, but he started to repeat these words after hearing them so much. He wakes up some mornings now and just sits in his crib, repeating these words until one of us comes to get him. It has to be the cutest thing I have ever heard. As a family, we are waiting on the Lord to either open or close a door for us. This is the first time in my life that a direction the Lord will take me depends on such a clear open or shut scenario. Please pray that the Lord would give us the patience we need to wait and the faith to know that He will lead us where He wants us to go.
Israel is in a time of calm between storms. No one quite knows yet when the next storm will come or what it will be, but everyone is expecting something. There have been rumbles on our northern border, as well as the usual rhetoric coming out of Iran. More and more, Turkey seems to be distinguishing itself as an antagonist towards Israel and UN has declared the beginning of its investigation into the flotilla incident. "Direct talks" with the Palestinians are set to start in Washington in September. All of these things are swirling around us, but have not touched us quite yet. Please pray that the Lord would strengthen our leaders. The things they are facing is more than anyone could ever imagine. Pray that Netanyahu would remain strong and would continue to find wisdom in the Word of the Lord. He has openly said that he has his time of "rest" when he reads the Scriptures with his son on Shabbat. Pray that the Lord would meet with this man in a dramatic way so that he could come to the full revelation of the truth.
It is amazing how much of our walk comes down to simple trust that the Lord is who He says He is. After many years of walking with the Lord and actively working in ministry, it still is a struggle to answer "yes" to the question, "Do I trust in the Lord?" Callie and I have both committed every part of our lives to serve Him. We gave ourselves to serve Him, trusting that He know what it best for us and He will bring it all to pass. That trust is tested again and again as our circumstances don't match up with what we think SHOULD be happening. The things that we have gone through together since we first looked with love upon each other are experiences that Callie and I never would have imagined. Constantly coming back to this basic question has been a way the Lord has kept our feet on solid ground. The Lord has said that He is faithful. Do we believe that is who He is? Yeshua said that our Father in heaven knows how to care for us and He knows how to give good things to us. Do we also trust that this is who He is? It is so much easier to trust in the things we can see. We can trust in ourselves and the abilities we have. We can trust in our church and our community of faith to provide our spiritual needs. We can trust in our democracies to grant us the rights that are afforded to us by Law. Callie and I have found that no matter how able we are, there are many things about living in Israel that have nothing to do with ability. We have seen that democracy doesn't guarantee our rights the way we all hope it will. Even though our community of faith is wonderful, it simply can't meet all the needs that we have. There is only one who can meet our needs, who is just, and who is eternally faithful. The Lord of Hosts is His name! We as a Body are looking at a time coming when this reality will be all that we have. We had better learn this lesson well now. Blessings!
Devin and Callie