Apr 23, 2023 | by The Fellowship
My first two trips to the Holy Land are what I would call Israel 101. You follow Jesus’s life through Galilee from birth and throughout His ministry and then up to Jerusalem to walk through His last week before the Crucifixion and Resurrection. I am a visual learner, so to see and walk where Jesus walked made it all come alive.
Since those two trips, a group of us have asked for an Israel 201 trip to places that we had not been. A trip was planned and then cancelled because of Covid. Finally, it was rescheduled for this year, late February into March. This was truly God’s timing. In my Bible study this year, we have been concentrating on the Old Testament books of Kings, Chronicles, and the Minor Prophets. This trip included many of the Old Testament sights mentioned in this study: Gideon Springs, Tel Dan, the Old City of David, Hezekiah’s Tunnel, Beer Sheba where Abraham’s servants dug a well and into Jordan to Mt. Nebo where God brought Moses to look upon the Promised Land.
For weeks before departing Houston, I prayed for safety for the group and myself. I have always said that when Satan starts messing around with you, then it is going to be a really great trip.
On day four, after a long day in Jerusalem, I was tested. We spent a long morning visiting the Old City of David, sloshing through Hezekiah’s Tunnel, walking on the stones where Jesus went up the Southern Steps, and praying at the Western Wall. Then we were ready for lunch and began walking up a street that had intermittent areas of four stone steps with a 12-14 inch ramp in the middle. In between each set of steps were shops.
I was walking on the ramp, talking, and not paying much attention, misjudged my steps, and went down face first! The thought that popped into my mind going down was: Do not put your hands out and break an arm!
All well and good, no broken arm, but my face took the brunt of the fall and stone is unforgiving. I remember lying face down and thinking that I must look like the wicked witch of the west lying under the house. My first thoughts were not of God or prayer. But He was right there!
My next memory was someone kneeling next to me and quietly saying, “I am an EMT, and I want you to do what I say.” This person just happened to be passing by. Others around him were supplying “wet ones.” He said my nose (which I landed on) and lip were bleeding. I had put my front tooth all the way through my lip. He told me exactly where to put a cloth and pinch my nose. Taking my pulse, he asked if I had blacked out. Once the bleeding stopped, he started to wipe my face. At this point, I was in shock and had not opened my eyes, still down assessing the pain.
This young man asked if I could sit up. I do not remember opening my eyes, yet I did as he prompted. He then said, “Let’s try to stand up!” After sitting in a chair that someone brought and two attempts, I stood up. I still do not really remember if I had my eyes opened much as my entire face hurt.
Later, I realized that the EMT had disappeared at that point. I had not looked at him or thanked him. But in retrospect I realized this person was God’s angel. His presence filled me with peace and relief. I felt surrounded and taken care of by God’s mercy.
God also protected me as I fell. I hit my knee below the kneecap, which was very painful, but meant I could still walk. My glasses had flown off when I fell but were not broken, so I could see. I did not get black eyes -- which we all expected because the bridge of my nose felt broken. My black and blue lip was nasty swollen with a huge cut on the inside and out. Even though my tooth was numb for an hour, it was not even wiggly.
I did get checked out that night at an urgent care and there were no signs of concussion. Upon thinking about what could have happened, I am ever so grateful for God’s hands surrounding me through this event. God also used our group to care for me. Someone was always there when I went up and down stairs with no railings. Others found shady places for me to sit and made sure that I was drinking enough water. This was the body of Christ working.
I would not wish this on anyone, but it happened. Under God’s protection and goodness and limping along, I finished well. All praise and glory to God! .
Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord’s
unfailing love surrounds the one who trusts in Him.
Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous; sing,
all you who are upright in heart!