My grandson, Drew, has an interesting way to do a countdown. Whether it's going on a trip or celebrating a birthday, he counts down the days by the number of times he'll go to sleep before the big event or trip happens. He and his family came out to visit us at Easter. Nearly every day we would talk on the phone and he would say, "Papa, Nana, only 9 more sleeps...6 more sleeps...3 more sleeps..." You get the picture.
Me and my dear, sweet wife have only four more sleeps before we board a plane with 33 of our closest friends and travel to the Holy Land. We still have so much to do and so little time to do it in. I've been spending this afternoon writing devotions for our evening gatherings after dinner. I am trying to develop a theme for each day and then to offer a devotion and a prayer starter for the group. I'm excited about making this trip. In fact, maybe too excited, too emotional.
I've been looking at pictures from the tour company's website and I find myself tearing up. What will it be like to visit Nazareth? To see the temple and Peter's home in Capernaum? To baptize some of our group in the Jordan River? To stand in the Garden of Gethsemane. To visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the place where it is believed that Jesus was buried and then rose again on the third day?
I have the sense that it just might be too overwhelming. To walk in the places where my Lord and Savior walked. To be in the very locations where Jesus taught and performed miracles and, more importantly, redeemed me from sin and hell. To be among the trees that surrounded Jesus as He prayed, "Father, if it is Your will, let this cup be taken from me. Yet, not as I will but as You will."
So much left to do. But, oh, the blessings that are going to come!
Would you pray for me and for our group? Please pray for safe travel and protection. Pray that our group would travel well together, be patient and support one another. Pray that God will be at work in our hearts, strengthening faith so that we grow ever closer to the Lord who loves us so much He gave His Son to be our Savior - my Savior - from sin and death and the devil. Your prayers are greatly welcomed!