Hello beautiful friends and family! Can I just say, Jesus was good, is good, and will forever be good. We are all so blessed to be a part of His grand adventure He has us on. Here's a glimpse from my point of view from today:
We started our day on the relaxing shores of the Sea(which is actually a lake) of Galilee worshipping and getting our hearts ready for the day- but I had no idea of what kind of preparation and plans God had in store for my heart, soul, mind, and body for the day. It was beautiful. It was calming. And it was rejuvenating.
Sea of Galilee
The Sea of Galilee is fed by the Jordan River, rainfall and springs on the northern side. More properly designated a lake, the Kinneret (the OT and modern name) is 13 miles long and 7 miles wide. At its deepest point the lake is only 150 feet deep. The rabbis said of it, “Although God has created seven seas, yet He has chosen this one as His special delight.”
Now let me tell you how I put it all together today and what I took away from it. Something everyone, including myself, struggles with is that we as humans are constantly trying to tell God what's best for us and how we can do it better or how we know what's best; but as we learned today at Dan, when we compromise and don't follow exactly what God has for us, it will never work and we'll continually be striving to be filled and to have a place. But just like Peter was reinstated by Christ at Tabgha after denying Him three times, we too are forgiven and are shown undeniable grace no matter how many times we fail. He is our bondage breaker and our restorer. Every time we are healed and our burdens are lifted, He asks us, just like He asked His disciples at Caesarea of Philippi, "Who do you say I am?"(Matthew 16:15). With every renewal and breath of restoration, our definition and name for who God is to us is deepened, strengthened, and made into something more powerful then we even know. With each ounce of new knowledge and wisdom, we are given a choice(just like we learned at Mount Areamos Topos, which is where it is believed that Jesus taught the Beatitudes): to either listen and enjoy the teaching without putting it into our actions or to listen and follow His Almighty commands by applying them into our daily lives. Not your friend's choice, not your family's choice, but YOUR choice. He has given me(us) such beautiful freedom that I am left with only the ability to praise Him, utilize His given wisdom, and yearn for more of it. He is so good. I am constantly shocked at the depth to who He is to me and what He is blessing me with by this trip.
We ended our day so beautifully by having the option to be baptized for the first time or, as Pastor Micheal put it, "like the renewing of your vows" for the second time. Almost everyone entered the water and as every person emerged from the water roars of joyful clapping and shouting filled the air. It was truly remarkable. I was part of this group who had the privilege of being baptized, but better yet, had the ultimate pleasure of being baptized along side my best friend and sister, Kellie Fernandez. As we entered the water, the song Pursue came on with the lyrics: "Surrender everything, to you I'm found, My God, to You I bow, now until forever, Jesus I surrender" and these words were my anthem as I publicly surrendered my life. Lastly I wanted to say the most meaningful part of this for me, on the car ride home I read Matthew 3:13-17. In verse 17 it says "And a voice from heaven said "'This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.". This is so close to my heart because on this trip I heard God say to me "I am pleased with you, my daughter" and then I was baptized and read this verse. Once again, GOD is good and I am so overjoyed by Him and His glory.
Thanks for letting me share how I was impacted and how good our Savior is! Saying goodbye for now from the Sea of Galilee,