Jaffa…what a beautiful place, amazing culture, and rich in history. What impacted me the most is that for some this was a place where people found God, and for others this is where they ran from God.
Jonah was asked to be an evangelist and he said “no” and ran to Jaffa to catch a ship out of town. As those who have read the account of Jonah recall, he had a rough couple of days after that before humbling himself and saying “yes” to God’s plan for his life.
Fast forward in history and we see that this was the place where God gave Peter a dream, inviting Peter to open up his heart to people who were different than him. He said “yes”, and that’s part of the reason why you and I are born again today. Same place, same view, different answer to the Lord.
I think that God is a fan of asking us the difficult questions, but those are usually the ones we need to be asked the most. Interesting enough, before there was commercial air travel Jaffa was the primary way that people entered the land of Israel. The ancient port of Jaffa is beautiful for sure, but it is surrounded by large rocks making landfall very difficult. History writes that when 19th and 20th century Jewish immigrants who sailed to their new home finally stepped foot onto land, they immediately got down and kissed the ground. The journey was difficult, but arriving at their destination was worth all the hardships.
What God calls us to something, when He asks something of us, it’s always going to be something that stretches us beyond where we are at the moment. And yes, following God’s plan for our life has obstacles and difficulties along the way. But arriving at God’s destination for our lives is something that we will cherish forever, and we will “kiss the ground” of our destiny and thank Jesus for every step of the journey…let’s encourage one another to keep saying “yes” to God.