“O LORD my strength* and my fortress,
My refuge in the day of affliction.”
Jeremiah 16:19a strength* = power + security
Are you surprised to see ‘summer’ as the date on your letter? We have just come through temperatures of 40 to 45 C. Twenty forest fires exploded across Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Greece, Cyprus, Egypt and Russia all came to our aid, thank God! Meanwhile, we kept our home closed up with fans going; all the while we were drinking copious amounts of water with fresh lemon! Yes… summer is here!
Thank you each and everyone for your prayers for Daniel. He is feeling ‘better’ but not up to full health yet. Still a diagnosis has to be found, and tests continue and we believe for his complete recovery and health. I am enclosing the following teaching for the many among us who are experiencing trials at this time.
“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you:…but rejoice…” 1 Peter 4:12
Many of you like ourselves are in this very present experience of hurt, weakness, being down cast, and struggling to stay on an even keel. I am praying for you who suffer. You tell me via email and letter about widowhood, cancer, delinquent children, debt, degenerative diseases, strange illnesses, accidents, joblessness, persecution, sexual abuse, addictions, broken relationships, loneliness and so much more. The good news is that we are NOT orphans, and can and do find succour and comfort in the sure knowledge that we are loved and cared for by our precious Abba.
Elizabeth Elliot, widowed in the 1950’s when her young husband Jim, was murdered by the then heathen Auca Indian tribe on a tributary of the Amazon River in Ecuador. She has written the following for us all.
That we may learn who God is — Ps. 46:1, 10; Dan. 4:24-37; Job
That we may learn to trust — II Cor. 1:8-9
That we may learn to obey — Ps. 119: 67, 71
Discipline is a proof of the Father’s love and of the validity of our sonship — Heb. 12: 5-11
It is the condition of our discipleship — Acts 14:22; Luke 14:26-27, 33
It is required of soldiers — II Tim. 2:3-4
We are being “pruned” that we may bear fruit — John 15:2
That we may be shaped into the image of Christ — Rom. 8:29
To qualify us to reign with Christ — II Tim. 2:12
That our faith may be strengthened — James 1:3; II Thess. 1:4-5; Acts 14:22
That our faith may be tested and refined — Isaiah 43:2; Dan. 11:35; Mal. 3:2; I Cor. 3:13; I Pet. 1:7
That we may reach spiritual maturity — James 1:4
Power comes to its full strength in weakness — II Cor. 12:9
To produce in us endurance character, hope — Romans 5:3-4
To produce in us joy and generosity — II Cor. 8:2
That we may be identified with Him (Messiah-Jesus) in His crucifixion — Gal. 2:20
That we may share His suffering — I Pet. 4:12-13; Phil. 1:29, 2:17, and 3:8
And let’s not forget, the suffering Messiah prophesied the rejection that typified Jerusalem.
“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings but you were not willing. See Your house is left to you desolate: for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!” Matt 23: 37 – 39.
Since then, Jerusalem has mysteriously and miraculously come back to life with her children returning home from the four corners of the earth just as the prophets wrote. Modern Israel is the greatest sign today that the Bible is TRUTH! Today leaders in Jerusalem talk publically about the prophecies of Isaiah and Ezekiel coming to pass before our eyes. This is new. When we arrived here in 1969 it was not so!
This past week, pre-schoolers waving flags and singing at the top of their voices paraded down Har El – our main street. Their enthusiasm caught our attention. The chorus they repeated over and over is timely and prophetic: “Let Messiah come!” the tiny tots proclaimed! These are some of the ‘chicks’ Jesus referred to in Matthew 23 above; right here in our neighbourhood this June, 2019. It gave us a lift in our spirit! Father God is the time-keeper! Zion is being built up and Messiah is coming. See Psalm 102:16.
“Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants, You have ordained strength.” Psalm 8:2
During the heatwave, a staff member was travelling across the city. While crammed into the tram she stood next to a large American tourist. He struck up a very loud one-sided conversation in English with a young army recruit. “Hi there! I’m here to pray! You see, Israel is under my authority. All I have to do is walk the streets and pray and people are healed of AIDS and cancer.” I felt embarrassed for him she said. The army lad had no idea where he was coming from because this brand of religion is completely foreign. The tourist never even bothered to ask about the soldier, or anyone else standing in the packed space…
We hosted our Granddaughter Liyah and school friends for her 15th birthday. What a beautiful group of kids; Arab Christians and Israeli Jews, all playing and having the time of their lives. This is the real ‘peace process’ that is going to change the face of the tortured Middle East. Being part of their ‘joy’ helped us remember: “…our light affliction which is but for a moment is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we do not look at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Cor.4:17,18.
Jay and I will be live streaming throughout the summer on our Israel Vision YouTube Channel.
I will be on stillsmallvoice.tv
Let us keep one another in prayer throughout the summer.
With love and blessings from our home to yours.
Meridel Rawlings and men.