Monday, October 27, 2008

Return to the Sea

Two years ago I was able to take my ultimate dream trip to the Israel. Without any question whatsoever, my most favorite spot was the Sea of Galilee. So much of Jesus ministry years was spent around this beautiful lake and it is virtually untouched since the days of Jesus. It looks today exactly how it must have looked when Jesus walked on the earth. Here is what I wrote in my journal about my time at the Sea of Galilee:

From here came the most emotional part of the trip so far. We loaded a Jesus replica boat that would have been very similar to the boat that Jesus and His disciples would have used (minus the engines, of course). As we prepared to set sail on the Sea of Galilee toward Tiberius, the workers hoisted the American flag and played the Star Spangled Banner as we all stood and sang.

At this point we never would have imagined that the Spirit of God was about to move in all of our hearts. We stood on the front of the boat and watched the sun setting behind the mountains. As we did, they began to play the song, “Shout to the Lord” over the speakers. As we sang the words to that song, watching the sun set and realizing that we were on the very water where Jesus calmed the sea and walked upon the waves, a wave of emotion hit me…one of pure worship…unlike anything I have ever experienced in my life. As we all stood and sang I just wept as I worshipped my Lord. I looked around me and every person stood singing with tears streaming down their faces. This was not manipulated nor was it orchestrated. This was the Holy Spirit. I don’t think that this could ever be replicated. I’m sure that is what heaven must be like.

I have never experienced such worship in all of my life. Dan Travis asked me if I would like to say a few words. All I could say to him was, “I don’t think I can!” I was so filled with emotion and with awe of who my Lord was that I could not speak. I could not even continue singing. It was here the Spirit of the Lord was bearing witness with my spirit that I am a child of God.

We then spent an hour walking through the shops of Tiberius and then headed back to the hotel. We have dinner in 10 minutes and then we are going back to Tiberius to see a movie called “The Jesus Experience.” I am sad to say that tomorrow we leave the Sea of Galilee. I love this place. Jesus loved this place. I wonder if I will ever see it again. I hope with all of my heart that I do.

God is giving me the desire of my heart. In 48 hours I will board the bus at the church head toward the airport for a return trip to Israel as well as Jordan and Egypt. I can’t wait to see the Sea of Galilee again. To be at the place where Jesus walked on water as did Peter (at least for a few steps); To be at the place where the miraculous catch of fish occurred; To be at the place where Jesus calmed the storm; To be at the very place where Jesus walked with and taught His disciples. It is my prayer and the desire of my heart that through His Spirit and through His Word, Jesus would teach me by the Sea as well!.