WAITING AT THE WALL, PART 2
Dear readers… this Sunday Scripture is very different that my usual Sunday post. It is the retelling of one of the most important events that happened to me when I was in Israel. This is the second part and conclusion of the story. Part one can be read by clicking HERE. I hope all who take the time to read this are blessed!
I turned from the hot holy stones… exhausted. I was a puddle. Melted by the heat and the emotion of being stood up by God! How do you pick up a puddle… How does it walk or continue a tour… or write in its journal. Can a puddle eat lunch or make small talk… or even breathe? How does a puddle put it’s heart back together…
The remains of the day were a sad blur. I put on a “happy face” for the sake of the other students… but inside… my heart was shards of hurt and disappointment stabbing me… slashing me… the pain was almost unbearable!
Thankfully, we spent the late afternoon before dinner on our own… I had planned to visit the Jewish shopping district and buy authentic prayer shaws for my husband, son and son-in-law. Instead, I went back to the guest house… and my room. Turning the air conditioner to 55 degrees I collapsed under a scratchy wool military blanket and slept. A little sleep always changes my attitude… and true to form, I woke up feeling less overcome. The acute heartache was replaced by a dull ache in the middle of my chest and head. The sadness still hung over me like the rough wool blanket that covered me from my nap.
Dinner was served at 8:00 pm each evening in the downstairs level of the guest house. We ate Kosher, as we were guests of Messianic Jews. Delicious food …. healthy food. Much of the same fare was served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! Tomatoes, tzatziki, baba ganoush, olives, pita, fabulous olive oil, pickled onions, hard boiled eggs, and salads. All of this and more was served along side of our main dishes.
And each evening our guest had some sort of performance or program to entertain us in the outside courtyard. The outside courtyard was a pristine large paved plaza surrounded by sand colored buildings, like much of Jerusalem. In the right hand corner of the courtyard sat Christ’s Church. A beautiful architectural structure with arches and alcoves and stained glass windows. A stunning blend of respect for the old city and a nod to its Anglican roots! Big palm trees made an overhead canopy in the courtyard that covered us with shade by day and made a softly swaying roof by night! Huge clay pots of colorful flowers dotted the courtyard. Taking our coffee and dessert in the courtyard followed by entertainment had been our custom while we were there.
The last thing I wanted to be was entertained that evening. I did not want to participate… I did not want to clap to the music… It was too hard for me to learn a new song in Hebrew… I could not even think straight in English! And I was too tired to make the effort because now the dull ache of a pain had now settled into a sulky heavy hardness. Hard like the stones of the Western Wall… and about as thick.
We settled in the courtyard… I had a cup of coffee and no dessert… and I took a seat away from the circle of chairs that had been purposely placed there for the entertainment. I was in self quarantine, not wanting my mood to spread to the excited and happy group… and truthfully, I did not want to be a part of the group!
Eight mid-Eastern young men, probably as young as twenty and no older than mid-thirties, took their places on the chairs at the front of the circle. They looked very different than us… very ethnic. Dark and rugged and many were very handsome. They had guitars… that looked as beat up as I felt!
They introduced themselves and began telling us their story…At first, I was listening with just my ears… but soon their words began chipping away at the wall of hardness around me.
These men… all Israelis…Arab and Jews… now Christian believers… spoke of their dedication to each other… and their deep love for Christ and their “brothers”. It seemed almost impossible that these two groups that barely associate except for dissension, would come together and talk… let alone love each other.
The love that surrounded them was so palpable that I breathed it in! The warmth of it filtered all through me! The hurt and disappointment that filled me most of the day began to slowly disappear as the men gave their incredible testimonies!
Many were rejected by their families… they gave up their fortunes… they lost everything and were hunted by radical group wanting to kill them… all because they came to a simple, yet saving truth. Jesus was their LORD! This is the one thing that could galvanize two groups in enmity!
They told stories of kissing their wives and children each day and holding them so tight… not knowing if they would return to them that evening! By now most of our group… men and women… were crying. Crying for these dear men… servants of the Gospel… crying for love of the brethren! I was crying too! It was more than emotional…it was spiritual!
The men had just come back from Jericho. We had planned a trip to Jericho earlier that week, but it was too dangerous at that time… it was full of hate and unrest. But these men went.
They had rented a second story room with a window opened to the street. They left the front door unlocked and wide open… as well as the window! In that room they prayed for a long time and then picking up their guitars began singing songs of praise and thanksgiving to God! They would hope that people walking by would come up to their room and so they could minister to them… trusting God… and bowing to His will! And people came! They were so drawn to these holy men!
As they told us this story they picked up their guitars and began singing to us as well. Some songs in Hebrew, some in Arabic and some in English. It was the most beautiful music I had ever heard!
It was during the singing that something miraculous happened! It was what I had been waiting for! The glory of God and His great presence surrounded me. It comforted me and loved me and filled me up to overflowing.
The Holy Spirit came over this Jerusalem plaza and filled all of us… like the tongues of fire that lit up the disciples and changed their lives forever.
Then I heard God speak to my spirit. Not audibly like I had hoped at the Wailing Wall… but soft and sweet and dear…
“MY PRESENCE DOES NOT LIVE IN STONES OF A WALL… BUT IN MY LIVING STONES”
God had spoken a great biblical truth into my life!
“You are living stones that God is building up into His spiritual temple.” 2 Peter 2:5
Stones have been an important part of witnessing to God’s presence and God’s work in the lives of His people. In ancient times people would stack up stones or place large stones on end so they were tall. These were called STANDING STONES. They were like our modern day monuments… celebrating and remembering an event or someone special.
The stones were erected so that when ancient people would pass by they would ask, why is this stone here… and other’s could tell them of the wonderful works and person of God.
Standing Stones… we are standing stones! The very God of the universe in the form of the the Holy Spirit lives in each of us who confess Christ as Lord (creator, owner).
The presence of God that I longed for lived… vibrantly in these precious men… and me! It lives eternally!
That night, God… the real and only God… the God who I worship… showed Himself so big to me! He was not at a wall… He is shown through those who serve Him and Him alone!
Look at me… I am a standing stone… a living stone… an undeserving monument to my Father!
This week’s memorization verse…
does your blog name come from this?
Hi Holly, You can read about how StoneGable got its name here: https://www.stonegableblog.com/the-history-of-stonegable/
Awesome! What a beautiful way to begin this day! Thank you. May God bless and keep you always in His loving care.
Your story blessed me so much! To know that I am a living stone, a part of His temple gives me new purpose.
What a glorious start to World Communion Day Yvonne! Your email was the very first that I opened this early morning in Georgia, surely not a coincidence! As I was reading about your amazing journey the tears just flowed filling me with the holy spirit.
I have been struggling with chronic disease that will eventually take me home to our Lord, Jesus Christ! Thank you for sharing with all of us today! God Bless you!
God bless you Peggy. I am praying for you.
I woke up this morning in anticipation of reading “Part 2”. And I was not disappointed. I have never been to Israel, but, as a Christian, it is important for me to do so. Thank you so much for telling of your spiritual journey………it blessed me, and you are certainly a “living stone” that is winning other “stones” for Christ. God bless you.
God bless you. Thank you for this post. You are an inspiration.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful journey, Yvonne. So special.
I love the thought of being a Standing Stone… when Paul tells us about the Armour , one of his last phrases is.. “and having done all, STAND. Stand fast…. Oh,Lord, let me stand tall for YOU!
What an awesome event in your life and what a blessing to have experienced that and to be able to share it with others. Thank you for your witness!
Thank you for sharing this moving experience. I am grateful to reflect on something hopeful particularly at a time when we seem to be so polarized and quick to hate those we don’t understand.
Ps. Peggy…..sending prayers your way.
Such a marvelous description of your spiritual journey. May God bless you and keep you in His care.
Blessings to you, Yvonne,thank you for sharing your spiritual journey with us followers.
This is so inspiring! Thank you for Sharing, God bless you!!
I couldn’t wait to read Part 2 of your story this morning, very moving and encouraging. I also enjoyed your teaching on Putting on the Armor of God. Blessings to you.
Thank you for being a Stsnding Stone!
You minister to us.
Thank you for being a Standing Stone!
You minister to us.
Thank you for opening up to us something that was a very personal thing between you and the Heavenly Father. I needed to read your words today. Blessings to you!
What a blessed sharing of your heart. Oh how hard it is to wait on God……….. You are an inspiration to me.
Yvonne, Thank you for your honesty and telling of your experience with God.
Isn’t it glorious that he meets us where we are! thank you dear sister for sharing your beautiful story.
Thank you for sharing your experience and your faith. It is truly inspirational.
Precious! Love that we are “Living Stones…”
Thanks for sharing your wonderful words from the Lord with us today. They were very uplifting.
Thank you for sharing your story. These brave men are a testimony to what this world could be like if we all worshiped the One True God, the Holy One of Isreal, Our Savior.
That is wonderful. I couldn’t wait to read this next installment, and it was so worth reading. I too have been to the wall. Exhausted, emotional, confused.
I love the Word you received. That makes more sense than I ever could have imagined.
Thank you so much Yvonne, I have been reading your story and loved every minute of it. God Bless!
Thank you for sharing Yvonne. Our pastor spoke this morning about our role in sharing the gospel and giving of our time, talent and money. Referencing the song lyrics, “God, why don’t you do something”…”I did, I created you”. God bless these men for standing up for Him and speaking so boldly about their faith.
I was thirsty for Part II for days. God bless you, Yvonne. I will share your message with my family.
I don’t know if links are allowed. Your post reminded me so much of a song we sign called ‘Firm Foundation”.
Awesome testimony. Thanks for sharing!
There is nothing in this old world that we live in like feeling Gods sweet Holy Spirit come over us. We know He will be coming back
For us soon. All of the His word is pointing to His soon arrival. May God bless each of us as we waiting for His return.
The Lord is so Awesome!!!
What awesome journies you had–the physical one to Jesus’ heritage land and your spiritual journey. Jesus never “leaves alone”. What a blessed thought. He meets us where we are. I love the hymn “Come Just As You Are”. God always heals a broken and tired spirit if we open our ears and hearts to yield to Him.
My comments for you about your axing trip ended up in the post about something else. Thank you for sharing this story.
Thank you so much for taking the time to let others,enjoy your journey,
I’m Blessed just by your love for our Savior, I’m glade to be a living Stone, it will make me stand tallest.
Blessings to you.
Amen..Sister in Christ..
Ah, first the outer, then the inner. How marvelous are the ways of God! Thank you for sharing your powerful story.
Thank you for sharing this. Beautiful story of love and friendship.
Another inspiring Sunday scripture. Thank you.
Yvonne, thank you for sharing such a poignant and personal story with us. Your example of faith is an inspiration! God bless!
With tears in my eyes as I reply to this beautiful encounter you had with our Lord, I thank you for sharing! I love these moments how we just know that we know, He is in our presence! Praise God!
Praise the Lord”
You did it again!!! You gave us, your readers, a blessing by sharing your blessing in that Holy place. I so look forward to your Sunday messages.
Speechless. Thank-you Holy Spirit!
God is so very good!
Thank you for sharing. Touched my heart.
That is such a beautiful honest account of what it truly means to encounter Jesus our Messiah. Thank you for sharing from your heart.
Thank you for sharing your experience and how God show’s you His love. I look forward to your Sunday messages.
Yvonne -what a beautiful post , i’m away in Florida on a girls trip but can’t wait to get back home and share this with my husband. He often reminds our church family of this scripture ,how we are all different and formed by God but like those wall or your beautiful house can fit so nicely and perfectly together -he also has a wonderful way of paralleling it against bricks that are all the same and made by man. I love that you are so in tune with the holy Spirit and were able to see the real message here and then share it with us. So while the wall is a beautiful thing for what it represents —it’s the living stones (people) that are really the story and what really points us to the wonderful s having grace of God.
Thank you so much.
God’s faithfulness is often amazing. Thankful for your beautiful testimony of His working in your life.
Lovely, thank you for sharing that experience.
An inspiring and beautiful story, Yvonne. And with such a true message. Blessings to you for sharing it.
Beautiful testimony! May God richly bless all who read this, and you Yvonne for sharing.
It is an awesome thing when God touches us and so precious!!! And that He uses and enables
us is just beyond comprehension. Blessings!
What a beautiful story; thank you for sharing with us.
We have been truly blessed through reading your posts regarding your visit to the Holy Land. Thank you for sharing such a personal experience you had with our wonderful Lord. Bless you!
May God continue to bless you, Yvonne, as you reach out to all of us who read your posts.
We worship an awesome God!
Beautiful reminder – Thank you!
a story I needed to hear today.
Did you mean 1 Peter 2:5? God bless you, your family, and your testimony.
I believe it was 1 Peter 2:5