Well, it’s finally time to say goodbye to Israel. We are in our final two days but it’s been a wild and fun ride. Tomorrow we’re going to do an archeological dig in Shiloh to help a team look for remains of where they think the tabernacle might have sat. The day after that is a free day, where we will walk the streets of Jerusalem one last time.
On this trip we’ve seen many, many other tour groups. All of them with their name tags or carrying their neon flags, trying not to forget a person at a church or on the beach. But here, what some may see as just a mountain or a desert, others see God. What some see as a nice swimming spot, others see a playground of miracles. It isn’t in the places or the things we’ve seen where we find our biggest moments of awe on this trip, but in our hearts. Where our hearts lean is how significant we view the land in which we walked the past 21 days.
The Spirit that dwells in the people of this group is what revealed to us the power of this land or sea. Like one of our friends told us, he was excited to visit Israel because he couldn’t wait to see the grandeur of the things God used in the Bible. But now, he says the experience kind of lacked from expectation. He realized God is not dormant in an object or place. We serve a living God that moves through people, not things. The objects and places are still beautiful and amazing, but they don’t give life.
The members on this trip wanted to experience God personally; to see His hometown, walk His same streets, swim in His same waters. These biblical kings, these temples, these stories, and their evidences still remain. To go from Jerusalem to Jericho on a bus, and then realize Jesus did that same trek by foot changes Scripture. What used to be one line of insignificance in the Bible (like Luke 19:1) is now filled with images of torment, stubbed toes, thirst and perseverance. A simple line is anything but simple.
If these moments of awe throughout all of our posts sound as though they can only happen in Israel, then you’ve missed the point. What we’ve experienced here you can experience in your own pages of the text at home. Like I said before, it’s an adventure of the heart, and you can’t take a plane to get there. It’s much harder.