Risk and Reward
On our last day staying at the Sea of Galilee we were treated to a boat ride across the Sea of Galilee. The weather was beautiful, the water was calm and the boat ride was smooth. Our trip began with an amazing time of worship where God met us in a powerful way. Singing praises to our King while out on the Sea of Galilee is just mind blowing. What a privilege to be where Jesus walked on water. Pastor Michael reminded us of the faith and risk that it took for Peter to step out of his boat on the same sea. This risk he took came with a great reward. He walked on water. Yes, Peter took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink, but first...he walked on water. What a reward! Imagine the feeling of exhilaration that Peter must have felt, not to mention the growth he experienced in his faith, in his relationship with Jesus and his willingness to "step out" in the future. Michael reminded us that our biggest growth comes in times of great risk and it is only when we get out of the boat to walk on water that great things happen. So worth the risk!
We then had one heck of a dance party. Singing, laughing and showing off some of our best dance moves. Our amazing guide Ronen even taught us a Jewish song and dance. What a great way to start the morning.
After reaching the other shore, we got to see a first century fisherman's boat that they say dates back to Jesus' time. Two brothers discovered it buried in the mud near the Sea of Galilee and now it is on display. It was interesting to see the preservation efforts.
From there, we went on a short hike to Beth Sh'ean, a city that played an important role in many civilizations through history because of its strategic location. Just over the hill is Scythopolis, the ruins of a city built by Romans, inspired by Greek architecture. The city was later destroyed by an earthquake, but the excavations revealed some remarkable columns, streets of stone, and the remains of an ancient bath house.
Located 17 miles (27 km) south of the Sea of Galilee, Beth Shean is situated at the strategic junction of the Harod and Jordan Valleys. The fertility of the land and the abundance of water led the Jewish sages to say, “If the Garden of Eden is in the land of Israel, then its gate is Beth Shean.” It is no surprise then that the site has been almost continuously settled from the Chalcolithic period to the present.
After walking around the ruins in the hot sun, we were treated to an amazing time of rest and refreshment at the Ein Herod springs. A beautiful oasis that provided a much needed escape from the heat. We swam and played in the waterfalls and laughed the afternoon away. Many of us also experienced the indescribable experience of little fish nibbling at our feet. As long as we were still, these fish would surround our feet and begin to nibble at them. This led to lots of laughter for all who experienced it. None of us wanted to leave this beautiful place.
These springs were mentioned in Judges 7, where God helped Gideon select his army to battle and defeat the Midianites. Pastor Michael used the story of Gideon to remind us that "When God calls you to something, don't measure yourself by what you don't have, but by what you do have."
We just have to start and God will take care of the rest.
This trip we have been reminded time and again that everything here provides a picture for us. The Bible has come to life and I am so grateful to have had this opportunity to walk the land of Jesus and read His Word with new eyes. I can't wait to see what the last few days here will bring us as we seek the God who knows our true name.
Featured Upcoming Tour
GTI Signature Tour: Israel & Jordan
Septemer 5-17, 2020
Experience Israel & Jordan for 11 days in the context of biblical history and personal faith.
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