Today was a day that I could see the hand of God in a special way. I'm graduating on Saturday, so my roommate and I decided we needed a girl day. We will be away from each other for a long time, so this was much needed. It started out lovely. We drove, listened to music, looked at fun jewelry, got a green tea creamy drink (which was AMAZING!), and then we drove some more. The GPS randomly stopped working so we just started driving around. I didn't realize this, but my roommate was listening to God about where to turn and where to go. It may sound strange, but it was really happening. We ended up driving through this beautiful neighborhood, so beautiful that I wanted to live there.
After this we ended up at a Jewish Community Center. I'd never really been to a community center, so we went in. We came across two different art pieces. They both were menorahs, but each was marred and had barbed wire in the piece. It was in memory of the Holocaust. We went outside to a courtyard, and there on the wall was a list of names...people who lived in the area and how many loved ones they had lost in the Holocaust. There was one person who had lost ninety-four relatives...ninety-four. I can't even wrap my mind around such a huge number! My heart became heavy, and I suddenly realized we were there for a reason. I felt the heaviness of God's heart for His people, even now as they are hated by so many people. My roommate and I decided to pray. As we began to pray, I began to cry. These people whom God loves so much, are hated so much. They don't even know about Jesus, their Messiah, either. God longs to comfort them through His Son. As we were praying for them to know God, I was reminded of this verse: "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones
God's messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children
together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you
wouldn't let me." Matthew 23:37. I suddenly realized that God gave me the privilege of knowing His heart. His heart was burdened for His people, and so my heart became burdened. I cried with my friend today in front of all those names of people who had been hurt deeply by others simply because they were Jewish. I was overwhelmed, not only because of the great pain that Jews have experienced over history and even today, but also because God trusted someone like me with the hurts and concerns of His heart. Who am I that He should confide in me? But today He did.
As we sat and prayed there, suddenly my favorite Christmas song came to mind. It took on a whole new meaning as I sat before those names and sang,
"O come, o come Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
Who mourns in lowly exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Shall come to thee o Israel."
This beautiful Christmas song suddenly became a prayer for the Jewish people, that they may see the hope that is being offered to them and that they may see God's great, deep, wide, and unconditional love for them.
Today I learned a lot. Don't forget to pray for Israel, Church. They are still God's chosen people!