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GOD HAS NOT ABANDONED YOU - overcoming adversity & finding healing in the midst of pain.



I sipped on my tea and watched the light reflecting off the Sea of Galilee from the couch where I’d parked myself.

My husband and I were staying in a house for new Olim (new immigrants) up North.


We had been on a long journey to get to Israel of pure faith and following the Holy Spirit as God led us from Canada through Costa Rica, Mexico and Turkey.



We had seen God do incredible miracles through our travels and parted the Sea, bringing us home to the Land of Israel, against all odds.

Yet, we were going through a challenging season, battling fiercely for victory over various giants we faced in the Land.

I found myself reading the story of Gideon and nodding along with his words, relating completely to his struggles.



Judges 6

The people of Israel were getting destroyed by the Midianites, who would come in like a swarm of devouring locusts, taking for themselves all the crops of the earth and livestock.

This was a hard blow on the Israelites who were left without livelihood or provision, under constant oppression by the dreaded Midianites.

Why was this happening? Because they were following the false gods of the Amorites. (Judges 6:10)

Yet, there was a glimmer of hope on the horizon. The angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, who was hiding out from the enemy in the winepress.





The angel said “The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior!” (Judges 6:12)

If I put myself in Gideon’s shoes I’m sure I would have looked around to see who he was talking to.


When we understand the Hebrew, this is quite a bold statement.


״יהוה עמך גיבור החיל…״
(שפטים ו - 12)

God calls Gideon a 'Gibor.'

Gibor - means ‘a hero’ also connected to the word ‘Le’hitgaber’ which means to overcome.

The root word of Gibor is ‘Gever’ which means ‘man.’

גיבור (Gibor (Hero

להיתגבר (Le'hitgaber (To overcome

גבר (Gever (man




This shows us how God created man specifically with an inner drive to overcome, conquer and be the hero of the story.


This explains why little boys typically want nothing more than to be a policeman, superman or a fire-fighter.


God didn't stop there at calling Gideon a 'Gibor' but He added on the phrase 'Chayil.'

Chayil חיל means ‘soldier’ it’s the same word used when addresses the Proverbs 31 woman. ‘Woman of Valour’ in Hebrew is ‘Eshet Chayil.’ אשת חיל


This shows us that God created man and woman differently. Men have the intrinsic drive to defend, protect and succeed.

Women have the intrinsic drive to nurture, comfort and give life. Yet, we see that paired with this God has also given women an inner courage, strength and wisdom to be powerful soldiers in the kingdom of heaven. Not to simply sit on the sidelines of life but to be an active part of serving the Lord.



To learn more Biblical Hebrew word studies register for our online Hebrew course!


 

Gideon responded: “O my lord, if the Lord is with us, why then has all this happened to us? And where are all His miracles which our fathers told us about?… But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” (Judges 6:13)

Have you ever felt that way? I certainly have, a few times.


If God loves us and is for us, why is everything going wrong? We can ask ourselves.


We were wrestling with this when we came into the Land together. We just came out of an amazing season of joy and amazement at all God had done. It had not been easy but He had shown up in mighty ways and gave us an incredible testimony of His goodness that we’ve shared with others.



We saw miracle after miracle like never before in our lives, this strengthened our faith and we knew surely there is nothing our God cannot do!


Then, we finally made it into Israel which had been our hope and dream, and we were met with a lot of adversity and challenges.

It felt like there were arrows pointed in our direction that wouldn’t let up. We faced intense struggles with everything from our health, to our finances, to family, and beyond.


It left us bewildered and confused asking “why God?? Why is all of this happening to us?”

One of the biggest issues was that we couldn’t seem to find a place to live and settle down, problems kept arising that forced us to move on to another temporary place.


We had to give up our apartment with no where else to go. We bounced around from place to place, looking for places to rent but not finding anything remotely suitable.

On our quest to find an apartment was growing more and more desperate.

We went to check out one place and were astonished at how small and cramped it was for the price he was asking. Yanai’s head almost actually touched the ceiling and the bedroom had no doors on it.

Troubles kept hitting us at every side. I kept telling Yanai “I’m at the end of my rope.” But somehow my rope kept lengthening and I seemed to reach ‘my end’ many, many times.


Like Gideon, we were crying out to God “where are your miracles that you showed us? Where are you?” It felt like God abandoned us.


After wearily moving from place to place, we had no where else to go but a centre that gives 2 weeks of housing to new immigrants in the North.


Our journey and tribulations didn’t end there… in the midst of it all we faced loss that left us aching with dissapointment.


We decided to go up North on a trip, just to get-away and heal. I finished writing this song called ‘Garden of Eden’ the morning of the trip.

I laid out my pain, my loss, my confusion and my weariness in the lyrics of the song.


While the verses relay my wrestling with the hardships we faced, the chorus rings out my determination to praise God in the midst of it all.

I somehow feel God asking me “Liat, will you trust me?”




I had to remember that God has still moved mountains for us, He still parted Seas for us and even when He takes us through the uncomfortability, the pain of the scorching fire and overwhelming floods of water… He walks through it all with us and brings us out to victory on the other side.

I felt like Job, God had somehow given the enemy permission to mess with us. It felt as though we were cursed at times, brought down to the lowest point we could go. Yet in our hearts we knew we had not sinned against God, we continued to pursue Him during our wandering and our uncertainty.


I’ve seen other people grow bitter against God because of their pain and disappointments. They pull away from Him, they blame Him for their suffering and they become saturated with negativity and live in misery and complaints.


I find it hard to be around those people, they never have a positive thing to say about anything.


While going through heart breaking circumstances I often pray “God, don’t let me grow bitter, give me a soft heart, I don’t even know how… but help me draw closer to you in the midst of my pain. Lord, I don’t know why this had to happen, but I trust you even when it seems impossible for me to understand. Don’t let me turn away from you, give me the strength to face what I need to, be close to the brokenhearted, help me heal in the ways I need to, only you can mend the brokenness in me and give me peace.”


 

GARDEN OF EDEN

GAN HASHLOSHA / SACHNE, ISRAEL

One of the hardest things to face as believers is when we experience the brokenness of this world. Whether it’s because of our sin, other people’s sin or just plain heartbreaking experiences for no apparent reason… it’s hard to live outside of the Garden of Eden.


We weren’t created to experience the pain of living in a fallen world. We were made to thrive inside of a beautiful garden full of God’s presence, His peace and His perfect creation.


How far this world has fallen, how desperately we need God’s mercy and renewal on this earth.



We drove up North and visited a special spot called ‘Sachne’ / Gan Hashlosha, which is often referred to as the most beautiful place on earth. Some believe it is the location of the original Garden of Eden.


We swam in the crystal clear water with the various fish brushing against our legs, feeling the warm glow of the sun on our skin. The sounds of waterfalls filled the air and palm trees swayed in the breeze.



It was like God brought me there to remind me, even though we live in a broken world, one day we are going to be with Him and He’ll bring us back to the Garden of Eden.


All the pain, disappointments and heart-break is going to be washed away. All the sin and defilement of the world is going to be cleansed and God Himself is going to create a new Heavens and a new earth.

I sang the bridge of the song “take us back to the Garden of Eden, where the Old is washed away… all things made new in your presence, Oh what a glorious day.”


Comforted by the thought of what it will be like when we return to what we were created for, dwelling with God in His garden.


When “‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’[a] or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelations 21:4)




No matter what you’re facing or what you’ve gone through, I pray this song is a comfort to you and a reminder that this world is only temporary, we are only passing through, our real home is in Heaven and one day we will return to the beautiful Garden of Eden.


When we’re going through hardships the enemy tries to lie to us and whisper in our ear “see, God doesn’t care, He isn’t doing anything, why is He letting this happen to you! He must be cruel, He must be distant, He must not love you so much after all.”


Yet, nothing could be farther than the truth. When our heart breaks Gods does as well, He is right there counting every tear we cry, He watched over us with fierce protection and faithful love that never changes.

Photo above: Gan Hashlosha, Israel.

In the story of Job God restored double all that He had lost. He loves taking what the enemy meant for evil and turning it for our good. Whether it’s here on this earth or in Heaven, we can be assured that in Him we have the final victory.


Like Gideon, we can feel weakened and afraid because of the oppression of the enemy. We can feel like giving up and hiding away, yet God call us mighty warrior. He doesn’t need us to feel at our strongest to use us for His purposes, He only needs a willing and surrendered heart.


After going through our hard season I could feel God tugging on my heart saying “I’m not done with you yet… mighty warrior, Eshet Chayil, follow me, there’s more victories to be won up ahead.”

When we feel worn down and discouraged we think “how can God ever use me right now?” Yet often He brings us to that place of dependency on Him so He can receive all the glory for what He’s about to do through us.


 

Prayer:

Lord, thank you that you are on my side even when it feels like everything is against me.


You are my comforter through heartbreak. Give us the strength to worship You during disappointments and not become bitter or drift away from you.


Help me find my confidence in You when I feel completely weak & unable to do what you're calling me to do. Thank you that you have not abandoned me or left me as an orphan but You are working all things together for my good.


Amen.



 

BLESSINGS FROM ZION!


Thank you so much to all our friends and partners of our ministry Light to the Nations who faithfully pray for us and support the work we are doing here in the Land of Israel!


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