If not now, when?

Has there been a day, or night, this week that our thoughts have not dwelt on the situation in Israel and Gaza? What will tomorrow bring as the hatred pours outward across the globe into our individual communities? Where can anyone be safe, especially we Jews?


Life has its risks but there is no doubt these are times needing heightened awareness. Yet it’s hard to even think of one’s own safety when the facts are unfolding in real time of the deaths of so many innocents, and the foreseeable deaths and destruction that are imminent.


So much cruelty is afoot, it’s hard to comprehend. So many innocent lives lost, children, babies. It’s impossible to not have the feelings we do when we live each day knowing the terror will spread. How do we face the day with any hope?


Several days ago I was blessed to join a Zoom call led by the Jerusalem Institute of Justice. I am familiar with this organization through my meeting some of its representatives over these many years at UMJC conferences. At a time of feeling so personally helpless, I was encouraged to hear of their efforts not only for the civil rights work they are known for, but in particular, their dedicated work now in the current crisis. They are tirelessly addressing the enormous humanitarian needs through their partnership with the international Red Cross teams as well as seeking audiences with higher governmental bodies including the UN. And so much more.


The meeting took place in Israel and we were apprised of the most recent facts which actually at that time were even worse than we knew. We heard from IDF representatives. I must say the high point for me was learning that Monique Brumbaugh had joined the organization. Her words were stunning, anointed, powerful, as you know she is as a leader, raised up for just such a time as this.


Last evening more than 30 of our Ruach community joined in intercessory prayer over Zoom, again a powerful coming together, reminding us of what we can do, that there is hope, that we are not powerless. For when we turn to our Abba we are reminded of His ever present strength and mercy. It is the time to pray, pray, pray, and then pray some more.


These are those days, the times of both/and – extremes co-existing at the same time – horror in Israel perhaps at the same time as your child’s birthday party, death of innocents at the same time as you may experience a birth in the family. One IDF member had exactly that situation and had to decide if they should schedule the bris. They did. Life goes on. Death/life.


The challenge is to live lives still filled with His peace at the same time knowing of atrocities beyond imagination, to rest assured of His Presence knowing that global involvement, or perhaps worse, disinterest, is the next round. Yet isn’t that precisely what we are called to do? Isn’t it we who believe in Yeshua who are perhaps called to stand strong and help others remember, or first learn, that Yeshua is the Prince of Peace. If not now, when?


Truly how blessed to know Him for without Him I honestly can’t imagine how I’d manage each day, for we still are here living our day-to-day lives with many responsibilities and relationships to be nurtured. My strength to carry on at times like this does not come from me. It comes from Him.


The more life is spinning out of control, whether personally as is more typical, or overwhelmingly beyond our immediate world as now, in either case the answer is the same – we have no control over this life we have been given, nor over the lives we love and want to protect. We are being shown that truth dramatically in these days, pushing us even more to rely on God who always is there walking with each of us through these days of struggle, hand in hand with Yeshua, our Rock and Redeemer. We are reminded to be grateful beyond words.


Pray more. Study Scripture more. Reach out to others more. Pray more. Pray more.


And then pray more.


Shabbat shalom.


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