I’m pinching myself this morning – back in Israel for the week as part of a ministry commitment I made nearly a year ago to my good friend, Dr. Mike Elmore. We’ll be teaching a conference on spiritual development and discipleship for men in conjunction with the Messianic Jewish congregations in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa. We’ll also be exploring the richness of all this country has to offer, as the Bible literally comes to life in front of your eyes.
I’ll be sharing highlights on the blog throughout the week (the next best thing to having each of you here experiencing it with me).
But this morning started off a bit unexpected. Over a jet-lagged breakfast on the hotel balcony (pictured above) with my friend Dave Newton, we struck up a fascinating conversation with our 26 year old waitress, Viky. She overheard our dialog about how “at home” we feel here in Israel and began quizzing us on the reason for our visit.
Turns out, Viky is a Jewish Christian. Her mom died when she was nine, and even though she’s a follower of Christ, she’s spent the last decade and a half struggling with her identity – her sorrow over having very little leadership in her life, and her incessant guilt over morphing into a bit of a control freak.
(I find this crisis to be remarkably human, not just cultural).
My buddy Dave went into instant “father-figure” mode, dispensing love and wisdom like she was his own daughter. And we were able to leave her with this one bit of truth:
The transformation you long for in your life won’t come from guilting yourself into change or searching inside yourself for the answers. It’s only when you give up looking to self and begin looking toward Christ that you truly become who you long to be. Who you were always meant to be. That’s when you’re free.
I’m sitting in a hotel room just a few miles from the actual spot where Jesus made that possible. But it’s just as true for you today, no matter where you’re eating breakfast.
More stories, pictures, and experiences soon. Until then, shalom.