When the world undergoes extreme change like it did last year, we can be sure the Church is also changing. More accurately, I believe it is sea change in the Church that accounts for sea changes in broader humanity. You and I aren’t always fully aware of the changes we’re undergoing or what they mean. Sometimes we can’t process what is happening to us or through us because we ourselves are being processed. Though I can’t yet process it all, I know that writing my last book has changed me forever.
First some back story: Why Still Care About Israel? represents literally thousands of hours of my own prayerful research, writing, fact checking, rewriting, consultation, interviewing and editing, as well as several all-nighters before publisher’s deadlines—added to nearly 60 years of prayerfully living out the message. Why such effort? God wanted me to write the book and I wanted to give Him and His people my best, empowered by His Spirit.
Then came the unexpected. When the book was released in September, my publisher told me the company could not market or promote it as they had done for my previous books, or as they still market or promote other books. That same month, an internationally well-known Christian journalist, a personal acquaintance and colleague for whom I have high esteem, released a somewhat similar book about Israel. This brother has many insider media relationships, so national Christian and secular TV, radio, and other outlets instantly picked up his book. As a result, a book reflective of God’s heart on Israel is spreading across America. For this I am grateful.
Concerning my book, relatively little interest has been shown. I won’t try to hide my disappointment that Why Still Care About Israel? appears to be on a fast track toward early extinction. Light of Zion has given away lots of copies but sold just a few. I remain convinced the message is critical and resounds from God’s heart. In any case, I’m closing out the year by attending to challenging hand and arm injuries, back and knee problems, worsened eyesight, and other medical issues all attributed to prolonged sitting and keyboard typing. The cost of some long, hard writing.
King Solomon cautions in Ecclesiastes 12:12: “Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.” I find myself looking forward to that new body promised by King Yeshua like never before. But “of making many books” I think I’ve ended.
Solomon further wrote in Ecclesiastes that all is “vanity” or “meaningless.” This year I worked extremely hard on something, the impact of which seems fairly meaningless. I suppose there are many who can relate to varying degrees. Yet, according to Hebrews 6: 10, “God is not unjust; He will not forget your work and the love you have shown Him as you have helped His people and continue to help them.”
God is not unjust; writing a book about Israel in 2013 has changed me. More than ever, I am aware that all I am or can do is by His mercy and grace. I don’t know why the book I wrote is struggling to survive. Maybe it is simply not a very good book—even though insider industry reviews indicate otherwise. I can’t blame my publisher or the media or other authors or myself. This is about surrendering to God’s leadership over my life without taking offense at His ways. I have settled in my spirit that He did not create me to write books, be they good, bad or indifferent. He created me to love Him with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. Such love requires humility, the key to blessing. Humility opens the door to His mercy and grace. Come to think of it, that was a main point of my book!
I thank God for the mercy and grace to enter 2014 with new, experiential understanding of His mercy and grace. I thank Him that writing Why Still Care About Israel? showed me, during a time of global sea change, why He still cares very much about me. Though my issues, not unlike Israel’s, are complex and fast-changing, the end message is simple. Israel—like the world, the Church and my life—are really all about Him.
God is quite committed, you know, to changing things until that’s absolutely, entirely so.
“But we all…beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord” (2 Corinthians 3:18). HAPPY NEW YEAR IN YESHUA!