An Unforgettable Morning

I took this picture at dawn on January 11, 1985, the morning of my 25th birthday. I had just arrived in Israel as a seminary student taking a class in Old Testament archeology. My first journey overseas had been a blurry nightmare including a bad head cold, a blown tire on takeoff in New York, landing in a blizzard in Belgium, an extra 17 hour delay spent trying to sleep on the floor of an airport, some woman who spoke no English offering to buy me a drink, and then an 8 hour bus tour spent mostly snoring with my mouth wide open. I probably slobbered, too. Finally, we arrived in the city of Tiberius. After a hot shower and a good meal, my longest day came to a merciful end.

The next morning I got up early and drew back the curtains of my room. There it was, the Sea of Galilee, calm and serene, the water lapping almost up to my door. I pulled on my jeans and sweatshirt and took a walk along the shore, still just a hint of early dawn in the east. As I walked, I thought back over that long journey and realized this was the 11th, my birthday. What a unique and wonderful birthday gift, watching the sun come up over Galilee.

I soon realized that I was not alone. I don't know how to describe it, except to say Christ came near to me. I can hardly write about it. It was so moving and mysterious and yet unmistakable all at once, just taking a walk with Jesus. He came to meet me that morning as if He had been waiting for me. I can't fathom such love and grace, condescending to me. Jesus reminded me that I, too, am His disciple, called to follow wherever He leads. It was a morning I will never forget, and when I see this old picture I run back to Galilee and listen for His voice again.

On this Good Friday, I am 50 years old, twice my age when I first saw this sunrise. Yet, still He calls and still I follow, just walking with Jesus, until we finally make it back home - this time to His place.


John McCallum said…
I can hear Him too—through your words. Thanks.
Annie said…
I hear Him as well and am humbled and honored to be following Him. Happy Easter!
Drew Hill said…
Thanks, my friends. Nothing is more humbling than the voice of God. What grace that we are allowed to follow.

And, what a blessing that we get to follow Him in the company of people like you.
Anonymous said…
Drew I loved your comments here. Took me back to all the wonderful trips that we have taken to Israel but most of all to those special moments in my life that He came near. Be blessed my friend.

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