I am sad… sad. My last three posts, To Shine Brightly; When Hope is Gone; Moving Towards Forgiveness; attest to the fact that I have moved from Israel back to the states. The move was sudden, unexpected and has driven me into deep mourning. Yes, I have learned from personal experience in my own grief and through walking with other grieving parents, it is okay for Followers of Jesus to grieve. Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, experienced and experiences the pain in this world and has had many moments of grieving. He said,
Moreover, in Kingdom work, Christ also told us,
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the world. No, I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. I came to set sons against their fathers, daughters against their mothers, daughters-in-law against their mothers-in-law; your worst enemies will be the members of your own family (Mat 10:34-36)”
What happened? Simply, fellow brothers and sisters in Christ put themselves in God’s place, ignored God’s call on my life, revoked the mission He set for me and relocated this Jewish girl, back to the states from beloved Israel. I do not understand why any Follower would want to usurp God’s purpose and plan…. And so, I am grieving still. And yet, in my lowest moments I recognize God’s deep mercy. He has brought great comfort and grace from my new church. They are not Southern Baptist. Not affiliated with any denomination. They are Loving and Wonderful! So… Never again, Southern Baptist.
What have I learned the last two months? God still loves me and will turn this situation around for good. How do I know God will bring me redemption? It’s all right there in the first book of the Torah, God tells us, the same message as is in John 16:33; there will be trouble in the world. In Genesis, chapters 37 to 50, Joseph, a young Jewish man is betrayed by his family, thrown into a deep pit without water or food while his brothers eat the yummies’ he has brought them and then is sold off to traveling gentiles who plan to sell him along with their goods. As you can see, the bible is very relevant…. Unfortunately, it even has stories of human trafficking in it. Evil has not changed.
Anyway, in summary and you should really read/reread the whole story in its entirety as it is a good story with many lessons, and it is my life right now, Joseph grows up experiencing many difficulties. In Moving Towards Forgiveness I wrote: “Genesis 45:8 reveals that God is the one who planned and orchestrated Josephs’ life. God did so to not only bless Josephs’ family, but the nations. Men plotted evil, but God turned it for good (Genesis 50:20).” Toward the end of his life God fulfills His prophesy for Joseph and brings Josephs’ betrayers back into his life and they have a final conversation about the past. Joseph says to his family,
For me, this is my prayer. I do want good, something noble, righteous, and holy to come out of such a costly sacrifice. So, has forgiveness now come, for me? Yes, praise be to God, I can forgive and trust/rest in His plan. In Him, will I trust. Most time the trials we experience drive us toward God, as in our grief and despair God graciously strengthens us, succors us and, usually, instructs us toward a new level of sanctification.
…PS. Honestly, I must admit, it would also be icing on the cake – really special – if my betrayers would repent and apologize… My expectation level is at an all time low…