Finding Peace and Beauty in Israel
Restless like many, I found a peace in Israel beyond the political climate and images of rockets seen on the nightly news, although upon my arrival I doubted that I would find anything else. Surprised and humbled--this small country in the Middle East was inundated with date trees, dense forests, and breathtaking scenic beauty. It quickly became the oasis for my soul and a rekindling of my relationship with God that seemed strained at times. God's peace and unwavering warmth can be felt despite the turbulence we encounter in our own hectic lives and schedules. I was confronted with a true peace in the Sea of Galilee Region. The dry desert air demands it--the subtle breeze off the Galilee beckons it. Just knowing that Jesus spent some of His ministry time here--melted the chaos, even for this stimuli junkie. Here in my morning time prayer--I felt still in His presence, a task that seemed improbable. With a window wide open facing the Sea of Galilee before the sunrise and small brown leather bound Bible at hand, Israel is nurturing, even in a dim hotel room. I was won over.
You might never travel to the Holy Land, but you can experience peace and joy wherever you are. Our charismatic Israeli tour guide Yehuda Ben Baruch said this would be an "A-Hah!" moment. Baruch said this periodically when Beliefnet editor Jana Melpolder and I would have a revelation about politics or the Israeli culture during our week stay perusing the different archaeological and Holy Sites.
Baruch's eyebrows rose when explaining that Jesus is not limited to an object. He said “It is not the place-it’s the person [Jesus] that is important.”
This has stuck with me since my arrival back to the states. Jesus is not bound by a building or site. He's available wherever you go and he always leaves the light on for you.
Maybe you’re just over life. Maybe it’s your work, or you’re dealing with broken relationships or even broken dreams. Here are some images from Israel along with scriptures that helped me even when circumstances obscured all hope.
Article was written by Corine Gatti. The Bible verses used were taken from the King James, unless otherwise noted.