Saturday, October 8, 2016

I live in Bible times!

We live in a country that is developing. We live in a city that is NOT. It is stuck, and the people here kind of like it that way- in fact, most people in the city consider it "preserving the ancient culture." Because of that, I could make a list of literally hundreds of things I hate about where we live. I have often thought about making this list, but God has somehow kept me from doing so. However, there are also many things that are good about the city not advancing, one of which is that, after living here for 3 years, I understand the Bible so much more. For so many reasons. I understand the stories about people having their feet washed upon arrival into a home because my feet really are that dirty when I get to people's houses sometimes. I understand what the place where Jesus was born was like because I walk by similar cattle stalls on the way to my friends' homes. I understand the men casting their nets, because I see it every time we go to the river, which is part of why our city is famous. I understand the Samaritans and outcasts because the caste system is so prevalent in our area. I understand the familial situation where the wife, often very young (15-18 even) lives with her in-laws in a strange, new land, very far from her family. I understand the temple Pharisees, though the idol worshipped inside is different here than in the temple of Biblical times. I understand the call to take care of the widowed and poor because nearly every time I go out, I pass by beggars asking for food or money. I am sometimes able to help, and sometimes only able to give a smile of hope and God's love. I understand every verse that refers to sowing, reaping, harvesting, planting, etc. because much of our work is in villages, and our friends in those places are farmers whose lives depend on the crops that they reap. The scenes of the Bible come to life as I read them, because oftentimes I can put my local community right into the story and picture it playing out. This may not seem of much importance to you, but I'm very thankful that God has opened my eyes in this way. I may have many things I don't like about where I live, but I get to understand God's word in a way I never could have otherwise, and for that, I am thankful. God's methods are funny sometimes, but I'll take the blessing any way I can get it! :-)

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