The other day I was on a work-related trip to Tel Aviv. Driving home from there, following the roadsigns to Jerusalem, I almost had to pinch myself to believe that this is really the life I am living. Even now, – having lived in Jerusalem for almost two decades, I am still that excited about it. Just imagine, – I get to call Jerusalem my home! I get to follow the roadsigns to Jerusalem when I am heading home!!
Living in Jerusalem has many different aspects to it. Right now the challenging aspects of life in Israel are showing themselves. Daily we get news updates of the horrible terror that is coming against our people, – our women, our mothers, our children. It is hard to describe with words, and it is a reality nobody should have to deal with.
Yet at the same time, somehow, this strengthens us, it strengthens our identity of who we are, as very different from the ones who are coming against us like this, worse than animals. It makes it very clear who we have to turn to, to cling to and to trust in, – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, – the God of Israel!
And somehow, in spite of this difficult reality, the people of Israel manage to have a joy of life that I find admirable! It may be what comes from gaining perspective, building something, sacrificing, – it may be the fruit of living for something bigger than yourself.
In the mornings I like to take time to read the Bible, and so often I come across such amazing, beautiful promises to Israel, and not the least to Jerusalem! And then to think, I get to be here, to live here, to have a part in these promises, in this wonderful hope!
Just look at these promises from Zechariah 8:
Thus says the LORD of hosts:
‘I am zealous for Zion with great zeal;
With great fervor I am zealous for her.’
‘I will return to Zion,
And dwell in the midst of Jerusalem.
Jerusalem shall be called the City of Truth,
The mountain of the LORD of hosts,
The Holy Mountain.’
‘Old men and women shall again sit
In the streets of Jerusalem,
Each one with his staff in his hand
Because of his great age
The streets of the city
Shall be full of boys and girls,
Playing in the streets.’
‘Behold, I will save My people from the land of the east
And from the land of the west;
I WILL BRING THEM BACK,
AND THEY SHALL DWELL IN THE MIDST OF JERUSALEM.
THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE
AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD,
IN TRUTH AND RIGHTOUSNESS.’
What promises! What hope! And let me tell you, – it is happening already! Now and in our days! The process has begun, and it is truly an amazing thing to be a part of!