The two most common questions I receive about life in Israel are, "Is it safe?" and "Are you scared?"
Going about living my daily life, I am not afraid and I feel very safe. When crisis hits a neighboring nation, or when missiles pick up frequency in the South, I do feel fearful. I wrestle with fear more as a mom, than I did before Aviel was born.
During the Pillar of Defense conflict last year, several friends who grew up in Israel shared similar sentiments. They reminisced about their experiences of the Gulf War, carrying gas masks to school in cartoon-covered bags, as if they were lunch boxes or backpacks. My friends agreed that they felt safe because they trusted their parents to protect them. Now as parents themselves, they felt the weight of that responsibility and struggled with fear. My own memories of the Gulf War, as a second grader at Rosewood Elementary, are quite different; however, I relate to their present struggles as parents.
What is the remedy to fear? According to scripture, perfect love. As children, my friends trusted the love of their parents to be perfect and they were unafraid. Now as adults, we must trust in the perfect love of our heavenly father, and allow that to cast out fear.
One practical way I trust in His perfect love is to stand on His promises in the word. Zachariah 12 holds a particular promise that encourages me as someone living in Israel. This passage describes an attack on Jerusalem that will take place in the last days, but look how good God is: "In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God…" (v.8).
This is a promise that a great anointing of power will fall on those of us who live in Jerusalem. I understand the “feeble” to be those who do not yet believe in Messiah Yeshua. Since Yeshua is the “son of David,” I understand the “house of David” to be the Messianic community, the believers in the Land. Holding tight to this promise, I trust that in God's perfect love, when these tumultuous times hit, His spirit will rend the heavens, empowering us to demonstrate radical love in the face of hate, and to testify of His greatness through miracles, signs, and wonders. We will look more like Yeshua in that moment than ever before. And that, more than anything, gives me courage.
While I believe this promise holds specific meaning for the context of Jerusalem, I also trust it to be a promise for believers throughout the earth. Yeshua himself warns that in last days there will be wars and rumors of wars (Matt 24). We will all face this issue of safety and fear. Together, lets become a brave house. Lets hide God's promises in our hearts, and walk in His perfect love, so in that day, we can be as Yeshua!