For many people, Israel is a sacred land where miracles happen. So, in late January 2023, my expectations (Greg’s) were high for visiting such an amazingly historical place. What magical experiences would we find there?
The 12-hour flight from New Jersey to Tel Aviv was packed with many who lived or worked in Israel full or part-time. We were the odd tourists on board. There was a lot of coughing and blowing going on with the passengers, but we didn’t think much of it.
Our 10-day road trip was designed to hit all the Christian tourist hotspots. We wanted to check-out all the places proclaimed to be where Jesus was born, raised, taught, performed miracles and was crucified. We wanted to sense the energy at each location. But the first thing we sensed was that we were getting sick.
As the days progressed, we saw Nazareth where Jesus was raised, the River Jordan where he was baptized and the Sea of Galilee where he taught and performed miracles. At each location we tapped into the energy, and we kept sensing a heavy undercurrent of suppression and agitation.
Where was the historic energy of miracles we came to experience? It was hard to find. The overlaying energy was upsetting.
By the time we got to the Dead Sea, we were so sick we could barely function. Because we had already purchased cable car tickets, we forced ourselves to visit Masada. Then we quickly put our feet in the chilly Dead Sea and went to bed.
The next day, feeling terrible, we drove to Jerusalem. Anne was so sick that we had to find a doctor. We needed help. We had to create some miracles of our own if we were going to see the city and make our plane home.
We did not know what they would do to us if we went to the doctors. Were they still doing quarantines? That’s when the miracles started happening in this land.
The front desk clerk was kind and helpful. She gave us a nearby clinic that sometimes takes walk-ins if they’re not too busy. We made our way there and were able to see a doctor quicky.
He prescribed Anne some medicine and said we didn’t need to quarantine. He said we were not contagious and gave us approval to fly. Given how miserable we felt, this was a miracle.
Later that afternoon, we decided we must see Jerusalem before leaving. I was in no condition to drive, so we had the front desk call us a taxi.
To our amazement, the taxi driver was also a tour guide who asked us if we wanted to see Bethlehem in the West Bank instead of only seeing Jerusalem. We had given up on that idea the day before when we had to cancel our bus tour there. We asked him, “How can we get through the border crossing? We heard it was difficult if you’re not on a tour.” He smiled and said, “It’s no problem for me. My brother lives there in a small Christian community.”
He called his friend and arranged a private tour for us at the Church of Nativity. His friend met us at the church and took us in the back way. He said “Hi” to the guard who was his friend, and we were waved in. We sheepishly bypassed the huge line of tourists and were able to see the presumed birthplace of Jesus in a matter of moments rather than hours. A miracle.
We hired the same driver for the next day to give us a speedy tour of Jerusalem. We said, “We want a driving tour with minimal walking because we are desperate to go back to bed.” He agreed to shrink our tour to a few hours of the essential sites.
When he picked us up the next morning, he cautioned us that because of the rain and early morning tour buses, we might have a hard time seeing some places. He said it would also be hard to park close to the locations we had chosen.
But miracles were in the making. A magical parking space appeared in front of the believed burial place of Mary Magdalene. Our driver was shocked. Another parking place appeared in front of the Dung Gate, which got us close to the Western Wall.
Next, we drove to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Garden Tomb where they say Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected. It was pouring rain, which must have disbursed the crowds. We were able to park and see those places easily.
Early the next morning, on our drive to the airport, we stopped to see the Dead Sea Scrolls. The crowds had not yet arrived, so we were able to get in and see them in minutes.
Continuing to the airport, I was able to locate a convenient gas station so I could fill up the rental car. Anne found they had tomato soup, which she had awakened wanting after days of not eating. It was the gas station’s soup of the day. Miracle.
We made it through airport security sick but approved to fly. We were headed home to recover. That felt like the biggest miracle of all.
After returning, we reviewed what we had been through. What happened?
We expected to sense the magic of Jesus and the free flowing energy of love in those historic places. But for us, the historic energy of miracles was temporarily covered over by the more prominent energy of suppression and agitation. This made us sad, but it also made sense given the past few years of lockdowns and the hidden tensions that surfaced months later as military conflict (October 2023).
Our trip, in our state of sickness, forced us to focus on creating our own little miracles. Miracles range from big to small. A big miracle would be Jesus walking on water. A smaller one could be as simple as a synchronicity.
We were reminded how important it is to believe in miracles, request the miracles to happen, and to do so with focus and enthusiasm. Then we say, “Thank you! Thank you for such love and goodness in our lives!”
Let’s greet this new year together with a hefty request for miracles and the readiness to receive them.
May the miracles be with you!