Hannah had to ride the camel too. When in Israel do what the tourists do!
From the top we stood where we could over look the City of Jerusalem:
On the Mt. of Olives, the place where Jesus was before He ascended to Heaven and the place where His precious feet will stand once again when He returns for His children. Our eyes could clearly see the Eastern wall and the Eastern Gate pictured below:
One day Jesus will open wide the Eastern Gate. But for now Muslism have the gate sealed, or they think it is them that has sealed it, and they have placed tombstones and graves in front of the gate to keep Jesus away. They believe that the graves/tombs are unclean and that He would never enter there. Oh, how they are mistaken!
There is a Church located on the Mt of Olives called Dominus Flevit:
From the Mt. of Olives we continued travelling the Palm Sunday trail where Jesus would have walked.
And then we reached the beautiful Garden of Gethsemane where we prayed among the 2,000 year old olive trees, like our Savior did:
These are branches from the oldest tree in the garden:
Mr. Incredible's Aunt Margie sang, "Holy Ground" and we all worshipped in the Garden together.
And then we came to the Church of the Nations. It is absolutely beautiful inside and outside:
We then travelled to David's City where the high place was. We stood on the high places and looked down much like David might have when he saw Bathsheba.
In David's City, we made our way to Hezekiah's tunnel. What? You don't know about Hezekiah's Tunnel. This is the tunnel that has haunted my dreams for the last, um six months at least! I am not kidding! I am a bit claustrophobic and tight, dark spaces freak me out just a bit....okay a lot! But, knowing my entire family was planning on going through the water tunnel, underground, in the dark with only flashlights and a lot of prayers, I decided to put my big girl panties on and go too. I didn't want to miss out on anything.
But, oh my merciful heaven I was resolved but scared! We entered the water tunnel where the water rushed up to my mid thigh and this water was COLD! Hannah was in front, Rachel was next, then me, and then my man. We were in the middle of our group. My family had flashlights but not me....the claustrophobic freak was flashlight-less! Oiy! My man took great care of me, he made sure the flashlight was always lighting the way and me being the brave creature that I am, clung to the hem of Rachel's jacket the entire time....I had a death grip on her jacket...no kidding!
I am 5'10" and had to duck down a bit most of the time which made it really easy to cling to her jacket for dear life. Some
As all of the flashlights were turned off for what seemed like an eternity, it became harder for me to breathe. We were totally surrounded by complete darkness, standing bent over with our shoulders nearly touching either side of the tunnel in water that was now up to our knees. "Help me Jesus!" was my cry. Finally after probably a minute we all turned our lights back on. Praise the Lord! And then someone behind my man started saying, "I wonder what would happen to us if an earthquake happened while we were in here?" Really?! Oiy!
From that moment on, I began singing out loud, quoting every Bible verse that I knew and prayed and prayed and prayed! I thought I was singing loudly, but my man, who was right behind me, never heard me. I guess it was a moment just between the Lord and I.
There were many moments where I wanted to run, but there were too many people in front of me and I didn't want to trample my children while their crazy momma headed for light! Plus, there was no where to run, it was tight in the tunnel!
There were times my heart wanted to fail me, and allow my mind to panic, and those were the times I clung to the hem of Rachel's jacket the tightest. And then the Lord spoke to my heart. Not only was this a physical journey but it was to me a very real example of Spiritual journeys we go on with the Lord at times. You know what I'm talking about. Times when we feel surrounded by darkness and we wonder if we can make it through this difficult time. Times, where all we can do is cling with all of our might to the hem of His garment and pray and pray and pray some more. There are times when all we can do is praise Him in the midst of it all....times when our heart wants to fail us and we have to walk in faith even when we don't feel like we can see the hand in front of our face!
I have to tell you that I have never been so glad to see the light at the end of the tunnel in all of my life! Tears filled my eyes as I saw glorious light again. I can so relate to this spiritually too! The darkest times are always the darkest right before dawn. If you are going through something like this spiritually, let me encourage you to just keep holding on to Jesus and keep keeping on.
I could have stopped and stayed in that tunnel, but I knew the only way out was to go through it. What a spiritual analogy that is too. Just keep on keeping on...even when you feel like giving in, even when you can't see what is in front of you, even when it is hard, hold on to Jesus and keep walking in faith....trusting all the way. And even when you can't see Him, He is leading you through!
And He led us though the tunnel into glorious light once again!
Want to know something strange? In one of the areas of the tunnel, we ran into two men and one very pregnant lady, underground in the tunnel. I don't know where they came from or why they were going the wrong direction, but in most places there wasn't room to pass someone. Somehow, one of the men got right in the middle of my daughters and I said, "No! Don't separate us!" He muttered something and then got out of the way. I still don't know where they came from nor why he walked in between my girls but I can draw so many spiritual lessons from that incident. Perhaps I am reading too much into it, but this I do know: when the Lord is asking us to go through a trial, a dark time, the evil one would love to throw us off track and keep us from going in the direction the Lord would have us go.
Are you still with me? I'll understand if you are not. I did a little preaching from my heart and perhaps was a bit wordy. The tunnel was life-changing for me. Can you tell? I was too scared to take my camera in the tunnel with me, I didn't want to drop it, so I don't even have one picture from our journey but I found this video that walks you through the tunnel. I don't know this pastor but I like how he explained the tunnel. If you want to see what it was like to walk through Hezekiah's Tunnel, just like me....well except without the crazy clausterphobia, then enjoy this video:
We experienced much more that day, but I think I'll close for now. My fingers are tired from all that typing. Thanks for letting me share my journey of faith through Hezekiah's Tunnel with you.