By Hope Dougherty
Many people warned us that we began too late because we started seriously making plans the previous fall. Unfortunately, that’s how we roll, but by researching Israel tours on-line, my husband found one from Houston with open spots.
Our tour guide Tali, a Messianic Jew, showed us her homeland and shared insights, personal stories, and history lessons from her perspective.
We had a great trip in a lot of respects. We met wonderful people who love Jesus, have quick senses of humor, and are great conversationalists.
I spent nine days focusing on one son, a rare treat for this mother of four.
We saw beautiful sights, sailed on the Sea of Galilee, rode a camel, floated in the Dead Sea, and ate delicious food. I ate pounds of hummus, an easy feat since it’s served even at breakfast.
Beautiful and breathtaking,
and not photo-shopped. (Not included in my skills set.)
We toured Petra and experienced the state of the world now, moving through two security checkpoints, including a pat-down search just to enter our hotel.
Yes, we had a fabulous trip, and I’m grateful for it.
But I know the people who ask me, “Didn’t you love being there? Wasn’t it wonderful?” are really asking a different question. They want to know, “Didn’t you experience Jesus in a real way? Couldn’t you feel His presence like never before?”
My answer is, not exactly.
I tingle while visiting the beautiful, traditionally-accepted spot of the Sermon on the Mount. Goosebumps didn’t pop at the traditionally-accepted place Jesus was baptized in the Jordan River.
I had special experiences with our new friends, but they could have happened anywhere in the world. I kept thinking about what the angel told the women at the empty tomb on the third day, “He is not here; He has risen, just as He said.” Matthew 28:6
His footprints marked Israel thousands of years ago, but His fingerprints linger everywhere today.
Praise God we can experience Him anytime, anywhere.
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