I’ve been missing Israel lately.
One year ago, my feet were on Jerusalem soil. I explored Masada, floated in the Dead Sea and explored the Old City. I marveled at the peacefulness of the Sea of Galilee, gazed at the beauty of the Judean desert and soaked in the diverse beauty and culture of extraordinary people. I was blessed to share communion with a small group of women – several I’d just met – I’d then spend the next days walking and serving alongside, making memories to last a lifetime. I had planned for months leading up to the trip, yet what I had learned before landing in Israel was dwarfed by my hands-on learning experiences while in Israel. The air was different. The lighting was different. My perspective was different. Although I’d never been there before, I felt as if I was home. And lately, I’ve been homesick.
I’ve recently thought times, “This time last year, I was….” My reflections spur a mix of appreciation for what I experienced and a longing to see, hear, smell and taste similar experiences again.
God pressed the pause button long enough for me to shift my perspective yesterday. He reminded me that as I’m thinking “This time last year, I was…,” someone else is “Right now experiencing…” Memories are wonderful, and I don’t want to disregard them, but what if I set myself aside for a moment and helped someone else fully experience what I appreciate and long for?
What if each time I think of something I’m not getting to experience, I pray for someone who is getting to experience it?
It’s not just about the things I’ve experienced in the past. The same applies to what I long for in the future.
What if each time I reflect on or hope for an opportunity to teach God’s Word and pour encouragement into women around the world, I pray for those who are doing so right now?
What if each time I reflect on or hope for an opportunity to travel and experience new adventures on the beach or in the mountains, I pray for those who are doing so right now?
What if each time I reflect on or hope for new employment opportunities, I pray for those who are doing so right now?
Praying for my sweet spot doesn’t have to be about me. It doesn’t have to be about you either. As you think about where you’ve been, consider how you can pray for others going through similar experiences right now. Support and encourage them – even if you don’t know who they are. As you think about where you want to be, pray for those who are already there. You’re not the only one with dreams, memories, and struggles.
I still hope to return to Israel someday. I still savor the memories I have of walking to the Old City nearly every morning. I still wonder about the people from around the world who are the serving and the conditions of those they are serving. But it’s not all about me. Someone else is walking to the Old City. Someone is serving. Someone is being served. Someone is experiencing Israel for the first time. I pray she will open her eyes, mind and heart to fully experience all God has planned for her.
I pray she settles into a sweet spot.
Your promises are sweet to me, sweeter than honey in my mouth! (Psalm 119:103)