“Come … let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Is. 2:5)
In Israel, February is a month that announces the beginning of spring. And this month has really brought a welcome change with bright sunshine and warmer than average temperatures. I wake up each day to the birds singing and the lovely sight of the spring flowers popping up in my garden. The wild flowers are filling the very green hills surrounding my house with bright color and the almond trees are bursting with beautiful blossoms. Refreshing, renewal and hope are in the air! What a blessing! How we need it!
The news from Israel has been discouraging this past month – after four weeks of our third lockdown with stores and schools closed and restrictions in travel, the number of infections did NOT go down at all! In spite of the very strict government regulations and the fact that they have the highest infection rate per capita, the ultra orthodox Haredim ignored the rules with tens of thousands coming out for funerals and thousands for weddings in addition to their schools remaining open the whole time. Violent confrontations resulted as the police intervened. One extremist group among the Haredim actually set fire to a public bus. These events which showed the serious division in Israeli society between the religious and secular were very hard to witness.
The hospitals had reached their limit caring for emergency corona patients and were going into crisis mode. The vaccination program which started off with great enthusiasm and optimism slowed down and the government has been concerned that the rate of infections would outpace the positive effect of inoculations.
Although the economy is in very bad shape, the government is talking about reopening businesses, malls, hotels etc. only as the vaccinated numbers increase. Much of Israeli society see that the pressure of the elections are causing decisions related to the virus to be made from a totally political point of view and are not in the best interests of the people and the society as a whole. Each political candidate seems to have a different opinion and Cabinet meetings have been stormy and conflicted. In response, a number of stores including three malls opened this past Thursday in violation of the restrictions, not being able to wait any longer. They are frustrated and angry that their desperate economic situation is being ignored.
The elections on March 23rd with its plethora of political parties do not project confidence that this election will bring change as it seems unlikely that any party will be able to establish the needed coalition to govern.
Yet, in the midst of all the discouragement in the natural, God told me to continue to walk in the light of His life, to keep looking ahead, to trust him and know that He is good! And as I rejoiced in the lovely spring air, my heart was greatly encouraged with renewed hope for this next season.
This week, seemingly in line with the welcome spring weather and just as I was sensing a positive new season, the numbers have begun to decline, hospitalizations are down, schools are beginning to open up, the Haredim are increasingly getting vaccinated, and optimism for the future has begun to slowly increase.
In my last letter, I had written how that it was so incredible that a microscopic virus could cause so much catastrophe worldwide. As I thought about that, God reminded me that if a microcscopic virus could do such damage, what mighty exploits could be done with faith the size of the tiniest mustard seed! There is no comparison! There is no limit to how much we can advance the Kingdom of God! Our greatest weapon is faith that rises up and declares the name of Yeshua.
I had a young man come to do some work on my house and I prayed for God to use me although I felt so inadequate! Not only did we get into a discussion of the Lord quite supernaturally but he told me that since he was a small child, Yeshua has been deep in his heart but he never mentioned it to anyone! I was the first! When he finished and was leaving, he told me how wonderful it was to meet me and how significant it was for his life. (I will have someone follow up with him). Please pray for Y that he will come to know Yeshua in His fullness and he would be born again and lead his family and friends in his faith. I was so encouraged by this. So many are waiting for someone just to open the door a crack!
I want to thank you for your overwhelming year end generosity. I am continually humbled by your ongoing support as I press on in this challenging situation. With deep gratitude, I was able to support the congregation with significant donations as they struggle to continue to help those who remain unemployed. Zion’s Glory has also been able to give generously to ministries who focus on Israeli evangelism. May all these seeds that have been planted come to life now! No matter how things look from the outside, God will have the victory! His kingdom will advance. The whole strategy of satan is no match for one seed of faith which can dispel the darkness!
So let us continue to walk in the light of the Lord. May the wonderful name of Yeshua be exalted in all that we do and say because; “We are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed but of those who have faith and are saved.” (Heb.10:39)
With love from Zion,