That’s the best word I can find that describes my experience in the Holy Land last week.
I was trying to think of how to describe what has happened to me and I realized that I have experienced this before in my life. I grew up in northwest Iowa where we had snow 6-7 months a year and only about 6 weeks of summer. I had heard of places that didn’t get snow and I believed they existed, but it wasn’t until I moved to South Carolina that I actually ‘experienced’ a winter with no snow. It totally changed my perspective. I had believed that there were places that didn’t get snow but now I felt it, I lived in it and I loved it! That’s the reason I live in Phoenix today:)
This is exactly how I feel about the Holy Land now. I always believed it was there but now I have felt it, I have lived in it, and I have experienced it. And I have a totally different perspective.
I was there – at the beautiful Sea of Galilee (pictured). I cooled my feet in its waters, I took a boat ride on it and felt the wind pick up as a small storm moved in….
as it often does on the sea of Galilee….
as it did the day that Jesus calmed storm.
I was actually there – the same sea that Jesus and then Peter walked on.
I also walked down a steep path on the Mount of Olives. I saw the Garden of Gethsemane and the Kidron valley. I floated in the Dead Sea and visited Jericho.
Some of the sites actually had excavations of buildings dating back to Jesus’ time – where he lived and where he walked.
We visited the Upper Room. We walked down the Via Dolorosa, the way of suffering…. the path Jesus took as he dragged his own cross to his crucifixion.
We spent the afternoon at the Garden Tomb. Descriptions in the Bible all point to it being Jesus’ tomb. Of course, he’s not there because he is alive! And he lives inside of us! Hallelujah!
We visited Bethlehem which has a cave and a manger which, by descriptions in the Bible, is like the one Jesus was born in.
We went to the Nazareth Village in Nazareth. It’s an area the size of a small park that is set up like it would have been in Jesus’ time with people dressed like they would have been dressed and doing the things they would have been doing – shepherding sheep, carpentry and spinning wool. The lunch we had there was food that was close to the things Jesus would have eaten at a feast. Wow!
I dipped my feet in the Jordan River and climbed to the top of the Mount of Beatitudes.
We visited beautiful Caesarea on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.
And much, much more.
I have felt it and experienced it and it has changed me.
Just like God planned.
Thank you, dear Father!