DayBreaks for 8/07/14 – Can You Believe It?
I have just returned from about an 8 day venture in Israel. It was partly work, partly vacation, but it was all an incredible experience. It was an interesting time to be there with all that was going on in Gaza, that’s for sure!
We had three days where we were very graciously provided with personal tours of many of the main Jewish and Christian historical sites in that amazing country. Israel is a small country – smaller than New Jersey. Yet, there is so much history – both biblical and non-biblical – in the country that you can’t really turn around without bumping into something or some place historical, and often, miraculous.
As I stood in Nazareth, Bethlehem, on the Mt. of Olives, in the Garden, inside the walls of Jerusalem, at Megiddo, at the Sea of Galilee, as I looked at Mt. Tabor and other sites, I was struck with how many miracles that God had done in such a confined space as Israel.
It is easy as a child, then later as an adult, to read the stories of God’s miraculous intervention time and time again for His people of all dispensations. It is also easy to say we believe in them, and perhaps in our minds we somewhat picture the settings and it is almost as if we believe they happened in some fairy-tale land or setting. But, when you stand in the place where the sun stopped moving, or where a man once walked on the water, or where a legion of demons ran into the swine and then over the cliff into the Sea of Galilee, when you stand atop the Mt. of Olives where Jesus lifted off from planet earth, you see that it wasn’t a fairy-tale land with fairy-tale people. It was a real place in a real time and one must decide if you really believe all those incredible stories of God working miraculously or not. And the One, Jesus, looked like everyone else at all those places where these things happened.
I do believe those miracles…but it put faith into a new perspective for me. When I put my hand into the Sea of Galilee, it sure didn’t feel as if it would bear the weight of a human body. Yet, I do believe that it did. Whether or not Christ was really born in the spot in the Church of the Nativity or not is largely irrelevant. What is important is whether or not he was born of a virgin as the Son of God made Incarnate. Standing inside the small, stone synagogue in Nazareth where Jesus read the scroll from Isaiah that riled up the people to the point they wanted to cast him off the cliff made the story come alive…and forced me to test whether or not I really believed God had stood inside those walls or not.
We may tend to think that faith would come easier to us if we could see all those places. Actually, for me at any rate, it was a test of faith. Perhaps it helps that the Jewish people I was with are so certain of all that the Bible records. Their faith helped give me faith in some of the miracles. I have come to the conclusion that you can’t really have faith unless what you believe is unbelievable to start with in the normal course of things. It takes no faith when things are so believable that they’re not even called into question. All that takes is trust. Faith is a different animal entirely.
Can I believe 5000 ate from a boy’s lunchbox when I’ve seen the place it happened and it all looks so, well, ordinary? Can I believe a human being can rise up into the air and disappear from view when the location looks like any other mountain top? Can I believe that a man came walking across the water in the middle of a dark, stormy night and terrified a bunch of people in a boat when the water looks like any other body of water I’ve ever seen?
Yes. A thousand times yes!!!!
Mark 9:24 (NLT) The father instantly cried out, “I do believe, but help me overcome my unbelief!”
PRAYER: God, what mighty things You have done for Your people throughout history! Help us to believe when reason may whisper to us that we are fools for doing so. And help us to look for Your miracles I each day in the everyday mundane world. Help us overcome our unbelief! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support. DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section. Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation. If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368. MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!
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