US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unveiled a peace plan today. We have seen this many times. Presidents and others propose peace. People wave flags. We all hope. Right? But do the people who oppose Israel want a deal? Do they want a little more land? It seems what they want is for Israel to not be there.
I believe only God can bring peace because it will require a change of heart, a complete and lasting transformation of all the souls looking at this and thinking one thing to suddenly think and believe and uphold something else entirely.
In 2018, Trump did something no other President could (would) do and that is to move the American embassy to Jerusalem. I found it encouraging and unexpected. I suppose I had grown accustomed to things being impossible. It gave me hope. Maybe this is also not impossible.
The sun was blue. She had never seen it that way before, a bold, bright turquoise ball in the sky. Its rays were like droplets, like moons circling a planet, each another shade and equally brilliant. They were bold too, but small and hushed.
The sky was red, deep and brazen. The leaves of the trees grew up around her and she sought their shade, though there was no heat and no burning.
She climbed the mountain in three steps. The tallest point on the Earth and it fell to 1, 2, 3. It was an easy climb, as if the sky had been brought low enough for them to touch without stretching to make it so. It was within their grasp.
Once at the top, she gazed back down into the surrounding area to her friends. They were astonished, too, at the sight in the sky and asked her to pray to the sun. It was like a beacon of light above them all. But the word 'like' stung her ears and her heart. 'Like' is not enough and she instead called out to the Creator of the sun, the Creator of them all.
Her friends shouted out suggestions of what to ask for: world peace (which is always the first, though few of us are willing to allow it in our own lives), cures, knowledge, and temporary things that satisfy for a moment but leave you hungrier than before.
She was unsure what to ask the Creator. She did not know what to say, but she listened and heard Him. Ask to know me, just me. Call to me. I will hear you even if you do not know the words to say. You will know me. You will hear me. I will tell you all things. I will answer questions you did not know you had. I long to do this, to speak with you who would pray to the sun instead, that I painted, that I constructed. But I am the One who calls you.
I desire mercy, and not sacrifice. For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners. from Matthew 9:13 Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6
Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there. And many followed him, and he healed them all and ordered them not to make him known. This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.'" Matthew 10:5-7
Now when John heard in prison about the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what you hear and see: the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
Like light from the sun, except you can't see the sun.
It is behind a cloud, but the light is still shining.
How is it doing that?
Like a smile deep in your heart when you know you were heard, truly heard.
He is not really like anything else.
There you are with questions.
The place is dark. You are dark.
You are sitting in a shadow. Why is life so hopeless? You realize in that moment that you are wrong. You are delighted, relieved, overjoyed (or even just regular joy at that point), that life is not as you thought. It is better. It is good. He is there, with you, real. Jesus is real.
Enough. Filled. Full.
Have you ever been full? Have you ever had enough? He loves you and He wants you to know.
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Romans 10:13