To My Dear Friends:
The prayer on my lips these days is: …lead us in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:24
On Friday, April 26th we took our youngest son Daniel to emergency because his speech was slurred and he couldn’t get his thoughts out. Many of you read our prayer requests on his behalf. Thank you for your notes of encouragement and assurances of prayer for Daniel. He spent a week in the hospital, undergoing extensive investigative procedures. All we know at this point is that he has sustained inflammation in his brain. Perhaps with the results of his blood and spinal fluid exams, some light will be shed on what is going on. Meanwhile, he is resting at home, and taking steroids, which leave him very tired. So… it is a time to rest and reflect; which he is doing. “I can feel the prayers, ” he said, “please thank everyone for me and don’t stop!”
We encourage ourselves with this promise: Mercy and truth have met together, righteousness and peace have kissed. Psalm 85:10 Daniel’s interesting response was: “That marriage produces a child of faith.” A 3rd MRI is scheduled in June and then the Professor of Neurology will try and determine what is going on. He is not out of the woods yet, so kindly remember him before the LORD. Thank you!
Our family has drawn even closer to each other through all of this, of course. The LORD has blessed us in so many ways, perhaps the greatest is that sense of family unity. Permit me to reflect on that theme for a moment, to include not only my own but the family of Israel. Last week we paused to remember the 6,000,000 Jews lost in the Holocaust. We listened to the experiences of survivors who tear up when telling of their losses; a little brother or sister, parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, homes, identity, everything.
Yearly, Israel takes time as a nation to revisit this mind-numbing tragedy. We rehearse and remember. It is not a morbid practice, but life-giving, as we listen and learn more of this living history in our very midst. We do not bury our pain, we share it with one another. We pray it will never happen again. And yet, anti-Semitism is increasing worldwide at an alarming rate. We are so aware of the bonds of family here. The heart of the LORD God is His family; the very reason this tiny nation was founded! The truth: is the global hatred against Jews and Christians.
This week we have a second Day of remembrance for our fallen soldiers and victims of terror. The numbers keep increasing. While Israel mourns and also celebrates as a nation, Hamas in Gaza is on the rampage. This week 4 Israelis were killed. More than 700 rockets were lobbed into Israel’s south country and there is no immediate end in sight. For days now families have had to stay in their bomb shelters. Immediately after Remembrance Day, we will also celebrate Israel’s 71st birthday this week. Like millions of other Israelis, the Rawlings will enjoy a family barbecue. We rejoice, because against all odds, birthed in 1948, Israel has matured to full nationhood, standing strong as a first world nation. And yet the hatred and lies persist. It is no coincidence that the EuroVision Song Contest is being held in Tel Aviv. Hamas seeks to terrorise our tens of thousands of international guests. They would just love to hit the concert hall and bring the festivities to a dismal end. A bully always seeks attention by any means.
Jay and our sons join me in giving thanks for the privilege of being part and parcel of this nation at this time in history. NO one said it would be easy. We are all infused with the blessing and enrichment that come from being a part of Israel. Again and again, the sense of family comes into play. Father God drew us home to Israel; we are energised by believing these bold prophetic words: And He said, Behold, I make a covenant: before all your people I will do marvels, such as have not been done in all the earth, nor in any nation: and all the people which are among you, shall see the work of the Almighty: for it is an awesome thing that I will do with you. [Israel] Joshua 1:8
In closing: Cherish your family. Change is the one constant in life, but we all start and end with family, which is one of God’s masterpieces. Having a place to go – to your family, your home, for the Jewish heart it is Israel. Having someone to love – is your family, is an enormous blessing. Our hearts are touched every year as we “Remember” where we came from and why we are living here on this tiny piece of real estate, and ultimately where we are going! Amen.
Meridel Rawlings Box 84156, Mevasseret Zion, 9079097 Israel.