Shalom Dear Friends, Iyar 5780
This month, my husband, Jay has word for us all, which I found so encouraging.
“The mouth of a righteous man is a well of life. Proverbs 10:11
Last week I was asked to give a message to our senior’s synagogue Bible study group. Normally we meet but with the current COVID-19 situation we met via Zoom over the Internet. First, we study the Biblical portion of the week: the same portion is read at that time world wide. Then one of us gives speaks on a subject we all choose. It was my turn.
My message was called,“Rabbi Akiva – The Epidemic Then and the Pandemic Now.”
An epidemic in his day killed 24,000 of the Rabbi Akiva’s students, in fact all of them. It abruptly ended on the 33rd day between Passover and Pentecost. No one knows why it happened but some scholars teach that the deliverance came when “evil speaking” was stopped between the students. I became convinced that this miracle could indeed have happened when I studied from scripture that “life and death” are in one’s mouth. What we
speak can bring either “blessing or cursing” or “life or death”. Then I thought about you our dear friends now caught up in quarantine during the current crisis. Meridel and myself remain in lock-down from March 5th, 2020. it has been interesting to see what has transpired between us. Thankfully we have not had any major blowups. However we have had to think carefully about our many discussions, with family over the phone. Josh is here looking out for us. and our discussions. Sometimes our conversations on various topics have been heated. I call it “intense fellowship”! During the last twelve days Meridel has been fasting on water, including times of intense prayer!
We have certainly learned some valuable lessons about ourselves. No about myself!
Then I thought about something that happened to me 42 years ago. At the time, Meridel and I had recently come to live permanently in Israel after visiting Jewish communities all over the world for the previous 8 years. While on the way to Israel, passing through Holland, when we were visiting the Jewish communities there. Meridel was on a 40 day water fast back then. Joshua was a mere year old. Late one night the LORD answered my thoughts and said very clearly as only He can do: “What have I put in your heart?”
Surprised I responded: “Oh LORD I ask You, please help me to give Israel a window to the world in the media.” I felt very insecure about this calling since I had never made a film or TV show at that time. I was not trained in this discipline, and professional was a Hospital Administrator. But, never could I ever forget what had been asked me.
Some months later after our arrival in Israel, we were invited to dinner to be introduced several well known leaders of the believing community. They were heavy hitters. During the meal I was asked about our plans. Naively I announced that I intended to produce a documentary film on Israel. The response of these people was quite startling! They queried me on my script writing skills, my previous experiences, my financial backers and my contacts to distribute such a film. I could only answer in the negative to every question, growing smaller with each one. I felt quite foolish and undone.
While driving on the way home I said to Meridel, “Well, I guess when God speaks to you about something: you have to have faith for yourself in spite of what others say?”
She said, “Thats right, dear, it is a matter between you and the Lord. You cannot depend on anyone else’s faith for your calling”. That truth changed my life.
Looking back on our life time of creating documentaries and TV shows that for years were shown globally, I bow my head in gratefulness. The World Zionist Congress honoured my work and our two most popular films are found in the Spielberg Library. The International Christian Embassy gave us a Life Time Achivement Award.
So, dear friends, if you have a calling and or a dream from the LORD, hold onto it and walk
in obedient and act upon your calling. Remember, “Faith without works is dead. James 2:26b Our son Josh’s favourite verse. God will give you other to stand with you and you will bring it to pass, even in this time of the pandemic. He is always greater than all of our circumstances.
Thanks again for your prayers and support of our ministry that gives “a window to the World on behalf of Israel and His Word”, and let me add, the Still Small Voice.
Its a rocky road upward, but we are climbing.
Sincerely, Jay and Meridel Rawlings.
Dr. Meridel Rawlings, Box 84156, Mevasseret Zion, 9079097
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Photo at top by Aaron Burden on Unsplash