When I was still a young girl, my mom had a dear friend Estelle. She sadly passed away the year after we got married after fighting a long battle with cancer. She was strong, beautiful and brave. She also had the best words of encouragement I have ever heard. Wisdom flowed out of her content countenance. In the midst of constant pain and sorrow, she uttered words that I will never forget. I clearly remember how she would say that World War 2 was much harder than her suffering. She would also, with much grace and depth in her speech, explain how everyone in life has been given an envelope with their name upon it (figuratively speaking, of course). Every person's details of his/her life are carefully written inside of the envelope. If all of our envelopes were to be thrown in the air and you had the opportunity to grab someone else's, you would still grab the one with your name on it, because the joys and sorrows of your envelope are already known to you. "Elke koevertjie het sy merkie." she would say (which translates as every envelope has its mark or scar to bear).
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How great is the sum of them!
My most cherished memory of Estelle was one day after an intense chemotherapy session that she had. Her frail body was weak and her beautiful face was tender. Yet hope beamed out of her eyes and life flowed out of her mouth like a river. She said, "On days like these, when it is hard, I just look up to the sky and it's beautiful." She found a glimpse of a greater hope by lifting up her head towards the sky.
Interestingly enough, an experiment was done at Harvard with people battling with depression to explore alternative ways of managing feelings. They were given the commission to count the antennas on rooftops, as they were taking a walk. There was a great difference in their mood when walking with their heads higher and lifted towards the sky than when they were taking a walk with their heads held low.
"The point of this task was not to calculate the correct amount of antennas in the city but to force the depressed patients to lift their heads up and look into the sky while walking on the street. By changing the way they walked their head position changed and positively influenced their feelings."
We've all asked the question, maybe out loud or just within the secret place of our hearts. We all look up at the sky and wonder; when will our King, our Beloved Bridegroom, return? Many different theories and theologies are based on this heartfelt question. Rightly so! Some of our brothers and sisters might even be quarrelsome in the certainty of their interpretation of when this glorious and fearful Day will be. It might be foolish to some, but I choose to stay on the side of building my certainty in knowing that; He promised not to leave us orphans but that He will come for us. This truth is where I find my unmitigated certainty. He will come! I long for it to be sooner than later! But then again, there are still so many people that have not yet come to a place of having a personal relationship with Yeshua.
Within this waiting on His return, we might find ourselves time and again, being downcast or weary. But look up dear friend, our redemption is drawing near. It is closer today than it was yesterday.
Ps. Beloved, please join us in prayer for our Ukrainian brothers and sister in Messiah. We know that wars are part of the end time narrative, but we should not stop praying for each other in these times. You can join Amir Tsarfati's Telegram channel here for updates on the situation in Eastern Europe: https://t.me/beholdisraelchannel