While Renee and I were in Israel, we were walking through a particular city where we were told a story by a Jewish man. When Samuel was a young man serving in the Israeli Defense Forces, a friend, Ahuv, also serving in the IDF, invited him to come and stay the night in his parent’s home with him. They had two days off and the home was in a beautiful city. Samuel thanked him and accepted the offer. They went to the man’s home in Sufed, Israel. Samuel was hoping that they would go out clubbing and have fun. Instead Ahuv told him they would stay home and celebrate Shabbat – the Jewish Sabbath. Samuel saw this as a time of religious restrictions while Ahuv saw this day as a precious gift from God and time to spend with family celebrating their love for God.
The next morning, Ahuv woke up Samuel very early – before sunrise, and told him to hurry up and get dressed as he was taking him somewhere. They left hurriedly without eating and on foot. Samuel kept asking where they were going but Ahuv would only say, “You’ll see, be patient.” The sun had not risen yet although the blackness of the night was giving way to a lighter morning sky. After walking for about two miles, they could both begin to smell the most wonderful smell of fresh bread cooking. Samuel was so curious as to where they were going but Ahuv would only say, “Follow me.” Just as the sun was breaking through the horizon, they came upon a small home where a little old woman was standing out front next to a table. Upon that table was fresh-baked bread with heat still rising from it. The smell was so wonderful, it in itself seemed almost edible. The little old lady was looking up; her focus seeming to be somewhere between the sky and the sun rise. The both stood at a distance and watched her.
Two minutes after the sun had risen, she walked in her home and shut the door leaving the bread outside on the table. Ahuv led Samuel to the table to pick up a loaf of bread. “What are you doing Ahuv?” “Why are you taking her bread?” “I am taking it because she has left it here for the taking.” She does this every morning. She makes bread each night for the Messiah in case He would come in the night. She wants to greet the Messiah with her fresh-baked bread. When He has not come at sunrise, she leaves the bread for whoever wants it.”
They took and began to eat what tasted more like a delicacy than just bread as they began their walk home. Their conversation was only about the bread for a moment. It quickly drifted over to this woman’s incredible love and yearning for the Messiah. Ahuv loved that about her. Samuel had never experienced such a love and dedication to the Lord. He told Ahuv it was a Sabbath he would never forget.
Although I have changed the names, this was a true story! When I heard it, I also could not help but think about this woman’s love for God and for her yearning and waiting and expression of love for the Messiah! I know the Messiah – Jesus, as I am sure you do also. Like anything in life, it is too easy to take for granted, the greatest of all things – first and foremost Jesus and His love for us!
This story stirred me to find my own ways to express thanks and eagerly look for and await Jesus’ second coming. If I did this, not out of some new obligation, but out of thanksgiving, it would change my day-to-day life. Effort is what makes love so real – what stirs the emotions of love we want to feel. And we have the liberty in Christ to do that in a multitude of ways!
I am stirred today! I love you Lord! You are the greatest part of my life and I will sing of your love forever!
Luke 21:27-28 (NIV) “At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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