Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Big Box

I shared the following as a Facebook Status March 12, 2015, on Aviel's 5th Birthday!  It came up in my memories and I thought I'd move it to the blog! 

Do you see this big box? This the best I could do as a selfie to show its 24"x16"x10" gimongous size. My 5'2" self (almost) carried this all the way home with a baby wrapped in the front and a backpack on my back.

I had been waiting for this package for more than a week. It was late, which wouldn't have been a problem if it wasn't Aviel's 5th birthday party in a box. Finally, yesterday, the day before his birthday, the package notice arrived. I planned to stop by the post office with Lydia while Aviel was at preschool. What I didn't plan for was a cold rainy day.

We arrived at the post 15 minutes before opening time. The baby was having a rather fussy morning... she was cold, and wet, and hungry. She cried and I bounced her, and she kept crying. (I hope its obvious that I didn't stop to nurse her because we were standing in the rain.) Finally, the doors opened. A large group of Israelis had gathered by that point, but I was able to go first since I had a now screaming baby. I gave the clerk my receipt, and he retrieved the package.

"Uhhm... How are you going to get this home."

I looked up and saw its gargantuan size and wanted to cry.

"Uhhmmmmm... I don't know. Let me nurse her and then I'll figure it out."

I took the box and the baby and found a place to feed her and in a great deal of frustration, I prayed,

"Lord, I could live in the States and be so much more comfortable. I could have a car not have to stand in the rain... in the cold... with a baby... and a giant box... this craziness is for You... so the gospel can go forth and it better darn well go forth today because that's why I'm here."

Lydia finished eating and I put us back in order, her in the wrap on the front, and the backpack on the back. I picked up the box and decided to head to the bus stop. Just as I got a few steps away from the post office, I heard feet behind me. Then a tap on my shoulder.

"Can I carry this for you?" He asked in Hebrew.

I turned around and saw an old gray haired man that was sitting in the post office next to us. I answered back in Hebrish with a big "Yes... I'm going to the bus stop."

He threw that big box on his shoulder and hoofed it. While he walked, I heard the Lord speak to my heart, "The gospel will go forth today. Let Me give you grace, first." As I looked at that man carrying my box, a man I didn't even know, who left his spot in line at the post office to help me, I saw Yeshua, Jesus, carrying my cross.

He took the box to the bus and help us load. I gave him a big "Toda!" (Thank you), and road the bus home, in awe of his selflessness. He did something that is so characteristic of Israelis. They are a tough people on the outside, but they will stop everything to care for someone in need. Its unlike any society I've ever seen. And really, its a manifestation of the how the Lord has chosen this people to uniquely point to Him. If you feel jealous or insure about that, don't. Just don't. They've endured more persecution than any other people in the history of the world, and it will keep on until His feet touch the Mount of Olives, He takes His thrown on temple mount, and they look upon the one whom they have pierced.

I'm sad to say that I wouldn't have done what he did. I wouldn't have left my place in the post office line.... not with two small children and no car. I wouldn't have... and I know the one who gave His life for me.

I did end up carrying that big box up 6 flights of stairs... but I didn't complain. Instead, I did it in thanksgiving for the kindness I received, in humility for encountering my own selfishness, and for the blessing of being able to walk these days, that I do believe are end times, with these amazing people. They point me to my savior everyday, and I hope with my whole heart, that I can point them to their Messiah... The God of their fathers who came down in the flesh of a Jewish man, carried a burden heavier than my big box, died as their passover lamb, and defeated death raising again to new life.

The Lord answered my prayer. The gospel did and will go forth today!

Related Post:
His Time-Out Chair was the Cross

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Cushie Files

Few people in the world can say they had a One in a Million disease...  but I can.  During the summer of 2013, after years of strange symptoms, and seven months worth of test, I was finally diagnosed with Cushing's Disease.  This is a rare condition that forms when a tumor, in my case, on my pituitary gland secretes a hormone called ACTH that then stimulates the body to produce too much cortisol.  the cortisol takes over and does major damage, the worst of which is infertility. 

My diagnoses was followed by a neurosurgery two months later, to remove the tumor.  The Lord was so good to heal my body and we were blessed with a baby girl just over a year after the surgery. 

I've collected the various posts I wrote about Cushing's Disease, some more directly related to the physical condition, and others, lessons I was learning during that challenging season.   I'm still processing all that took place, so this compilation will certainly grow as I feel led to share my heart more and more.  Enjoy! 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Made New by the Rain

This year, my post gets to kick off the annual March of Books over at Kindred Grace! More about that, but first, I'd like to extend a warm welcome to any KG readers who might be visiting Growing and Olive Tree for the first time!    This is a place where we go deep into God's word as I share the insights gleaned, the battles fought, and the victories won, while walking in blessings and enduring the trials, of raising a family in the Jewish state of Israel as believers in Yeshua HaMashiach, Jesus the Messiah! 

For this years MoB, I have two posts coming up!  This one is what I call an unreview, or maybe a living review (read it and tell me what you think fits better) of a simply beautiful children's book that I found on the adult non-fiction book shelf where our Kehilah (congregation) meets for services on Shabbat, and I tell the story of how it ministered to my heart in a profound way!  If you a regular to my blog, please stop by Kindred Grace and check it out!  Its one I'd recommend for your home library, for sure! 

 Made New by the Rain

A review of Come On, Rain!  By Karen Hesse with Pictures by Jon J Muth

Related Posts:
If you liked this review, you might also enjoy Perpetua, a Bus, and a Vow