Today’s jog brought a new view of a neighborhood that I’ve seen hundreds of times, and yet, never “seen”. At one place on the route to my right is a pristine forest. Its beauty is in its silent majesty, vernal ponds, streaming sunlight through shaded overhanging branches, shalom. To my left, directly across from this oasis of His majesty is a deserted industrial area.
As I approached this area this morning I had just finished listening to the Daily D’var, in particular the portions from Revelation describing the end times and the horror that awaits those who have rejected God. I was also listening to some new Messianic Jewish music.
Until this morning I had been contentedly listening to a playlist I had created in March 2020 at the outset of Covid. The creation of that playlist was spontaneous and inexplicable and has fed my spiritual journey since then. This morning, however, I was moved to seek some new songs, partially to be able to send more Messianic Jewish songs to my contact at WERS to be played on Sunday mornings during Chagigah, a Jewish music radio show. So I tapped my Spotify app searching “Messianic Jewish Music” and was immediately swept into the beauty of the music as I approached this area of opposites.
The songs were all in Hebrew, yet I was spiritually uplifted even though I couldn’t understand the lyrics. The experience reinforced my resolve to continue my Hebrew study as I have been this year with Connie Hayes. (Thank you, Connie!!) As the music played I would glance to my right at the amazing evidence of God’s Presence. Then as my eyes drifted left to the deserted buildings with roofs literally in shreds, the boarded windows, hanging shutters, wire fences warning trespassers, the signs saying, “Danger Do Not Enter”, I felt the messages of Revelation, the warnings, the choices.
How I basked in the sunshine, the warmth of the day, the beauty of the breeze, the sounds of music of the heavens, while facing the knowledge of what life is without His Presence, without that understanding of His closeness and desire to know Him.
Often Jewish people will say to me, “Don’t people come to know Jesus in prison or when they’re really down and out?” I say, “Yes”. Then we discuss that the answer is much more complex than that stereotype. For Yeshua came to us in human form and experienced suffering. He met us and joined us in our lowest places, suffering and death. God did not have to do that. He did not have to send His Son. HaShem did that because He loves us so much, beyond human comprehension, as only Abraham could have known when asked to do the same, to sacrifice his son Isaac.
Yeshua felt our suffering, is in our suffering with us, in our darkest places helping us to find the light, letting us know we are not alone. We cannot escape pain in this life. Yet when we experience it we are comforted to know that Yeshua is with us through it. We feel His assurance that all will be well someday.
That fenced off area of brokenness is a reality, as is the pristine forest, we being blessed to know that our steps between are guarded, protected by Yeshua’s Presence guiding us, step by step. How blessed to know Him and be given the choice to run with Him.