Saturday, April 30, 2011

Journey to Israel - Chapter 14

Chapter 14 - Monday continued...

We arrived at En Gev on the east side of the Sea of Galilee in the early evening. Our accommodations for the next two nights were cottages right on the shore line of the lake. Called “Kibbutz”, these cottages are actually run by a commune. This group of people combine their skills and wealth and families and live together in an agricultural setting. Even though we were separated in groups of 2-4 in the cottages, we all came together in the communal dining room to eat. The whole setting was very clean and well organized.

Staying on the shore of Galilee I was next to heaven. I had been waiting for this shore for a long time. There was something here I needed to experience, to learn. I wanted to better understand why God had brought me to the shore in my mind during times of deep meditation. Having stood on this shore so many times mentally, to be on it physically was a very moving experience for me. I was the last person to leave the beach and go in at night, and the first one out in the morning. At 5:30 a.m. I would get up and be out by the water to watch the sun rise (what magnificent sun rises and sun sets they were!) I wanted to capture every possible moment I could on this shore line.

That first night, in the blackness of the night, I looked across the sea to the city of Tiberias on the hillside. The lights of the city seemed at first like a million tiny flickering candles. Then as I gazed at them, it seemed that they started sparkling like jewels. The lay of the city on the hillside made it seem like the bottom of a staircase just beginning to ascend into heaven. I thought, “If the entry is this awesome, this beautiful, what must heaven itself be like! It must be far too brilliant for human eyes!”

I saw a single light way down the shore on the other side of the lake, and I imagined Jesus down there frying fish over an open fire, just waiting for me to join Him. As I looked out across the waters it seemed that I could see the flowing white robe of my Jesus walking on the water, as though His feet did not touch. He was walking toward me. I sensed His presence all around me.

As I watched the waves roll softly into the shore, I realized that everything I had gone through in my depression was worth this moment. I cannot believe that I might have ended my life and never have had the opportunity to stand on the shore of Galilee in the presence of Jesus. Somehow I felt that no matter what comes my way in the future, I know that with Jesus I can make it through. He holds my hand and will never let me drown. We will walk on top of the troubled waters together.

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