Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Lessons From the Desert: Appreciation for Life

This month at Pasture Living, I'm sharing what I learned during my Israel trip and why I think this series is very relevant to healthy living. I believe being physically healthy is important, but being mentally, psychologically, and spiritually healthy is also extremely important for a fulfilling and joyful life. If you missed any of this series, click here.

Advent Day 24

On our last day in Israel, we visited the Holocaust museum, where it showcased the painful tragedy and mass killing of the Jews. Six million people were brutally killed, including two million children. It was so hard to learn about them but I learned to appreciate life. I learned to remember what many people had to go through during wars and prosecution, and the pain and sufferings many children of God have to go through as they follow Him. I learned to not take children for granted. I learned to love everyone just as Jesus loves them. I hope I will not forget everything I learned in the desert. I thank God that He brought us out of the desert, but we pray that He doesn't take the "desert" out of us. Because the desert is when we experience God's faithfulness, grace, and mercy. It is when we are closest to Him as we learn to depend, follow, surrender, and trust in Him completely. It is where we learn to give thanks to God because He is good and because it is good to give thanks. He is worthy of our praise and His love endures forever.

In my life I try to search for "green pasture" in the desert. But I've come to realize that the desert is the green pasture. The whole desert experience is God's gift. It is where we experience God's presence, undying love, and an intimate relationship with Him in ways we can never experience anywhere else. It brings smile to my face every time I remember Israel. Though the trip has ended, my journey has not. It is just the beginning.

"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' - Matthew 22:36-39

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