Peace in the Storm

John 14 (NKJV)  The Way, the Truth, and the Life
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know.”

As part of our tour of Israel, we went to the northern border with Lebanon. We visited a kibbutz there called Malkiya. A kibbutz is a commune where people live and work together in a mostly agrarian community for the benefit of the whole community. In their beginnings, these communities were a place where people who had no other family when they emigratded to Israel could become part of something larger than themselves. Those who lost it all  find a place where they still belong. Malkiya is across a valley from the terrorist controlled section of Lebanon. On the top of the mountain across this valley, you can see a military installation of Hezbollah where there are forces ready to attack Israel at any time. In the shadow of this threat lives a community of people going through the normal ways of life working, raising children and providing for the future. There are peculiarities in the socialist way of life but the peace in the shadow of the imminent threat is noticeable. What makes a people calm if the face of a constant threat?

Likewise, the Israel Defense Force, which patrols this northern border, goes about their daily routine in the face of an enemy which vows to destroy them. And yet, they joke and tell stories and greet visitors. Hezbollah has rockets that can easily reach Malkiya’s farmland. We visited in a large bus. We were easy targets. In spite of that, there was a sense of peace.

How do you want to live your life? Anxiety plagues much of our society. Social media makes people envious of the lives of others. Yet a simple people lives, laughs and loves in the northern hills of Israel! Do they know something we don? It would seem they do. They have learned to keep their eyes on the one thing that really matters. They focus on God and His promises. Although the brothers and sisters are not followers of Jesus, they are friends of the Father. They know He who promises is faithful. They come against a people of hatred with the love and peace of God. In a region where hate is the unifying force, the people of Israel and Malkiya choose to love their enemies. Don’t get me wrong. When Israel has been attacked in the past, they have fought back fiercely and won. Like David against Goliath, they know of God’s love for His Chosen people. Israel stands as a representative of the Peace of God.

Father, I thank You for Your protection in our comings and goings. I thank You that You never leave us alone. No matter the situation, Your presence can be felt in our Spirit. The knowledge of You can remove anxiety in the middle of a time of war. When our hearts could be troubled, You are our Peace!

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