Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Calm (emotionally) (09/13/07)
- TITLE: The Presence of Jesus Today
By Carolyn Kenney
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The alarm clock pierced the quiet of the early morning hours. I rolled over and struggled to open my eyes; the time was 6:00 a.m. This was my first day in Israel! The flight landed in Tel Aviv at 10:00 p.m. the night before; our group of thirty-three tourists arrived at the hotel close to 11:00 p.m. and crawled into bed.
Just beyond the drapes, which were pulled to keep out the morning sun, was the calm waters of the Sea of Galilee! For months I had longed to be here. This was my dream! I swung me feet over the side of the bed, quietly walked to the bureau and grabbed my camera. Opening the heavy curtains, I slipped outside onto the small balcony which overlooked the hotel grounds below. A few hundred yards from where I stood the water lapped gently against the shore.
I turned on my digital camera and snapped about six pictures as the sun rose above the low mountains along the distant horizon. The golden sun was spectacular as birds flew gracefully above and around it. Peace and tranquility permeated my soul; I could stay here forever. As I gazed at the silent splendor before me, I thought back 2000 years ago. On these waters, Peter and Andrew made their living before being called to become “fishers of men.” In my mind’s eye, I could picture Jesus walking along the edge of the shore. As He walked, He also prayed for His friends and for the many men, women and children eager to hear His every word. As He looked upon them with love in His heart, did He also see those of us who would walk these same shores one day in the future? Did He see me standing here now? Did He see the peace in my heart as I gave thanks to be here - close to where He walked, taught and lived?
Our group spent four joyous days in the area of Galilee before moving on to Jerusalem. I long to return there one day! I long to sit at the edge of the Sea of Galilee where Jesus spent so much of His life. The rising sun reflecting in the sea each morning was a mirror image of the light and joy reflected in my soul. I recently read a quotation by Dietrich von Hildebrand, which aptly describes the sunrise on the Sea of Galilee. It reads, “To whom will the sublime beauty of a sunset or a Ninth Symphony of Beethoven reveal itself, but to him who approaches it reverently and unlocks his heart to it?” Along the Sea of Galilee, the Presence of Jesus can still be felt. It transcends time. Why else do I feel such joy in my heart - even now?
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