I slept in this morning… sure needed it!
The last three months have been at least partly consumed with getting ready to host Sukkot. The Father’s hand was clearly involved all the way through, but I often found myself worrying that I’d miss some detail, overlook some important factor, or just plain fail… He exceeded abundantly above all I could ask or imagine! Let me share some thoughts and stories!
If I could put a particular theme on this week from my vantage point, it would be ‘healing.’ We saw the Father’s hand bring healing in multiple situations and ailments. More in a minute!
This was my third Sukkot. The first two were celebrated as we were awakening to a full understanding of Scripture and what ‘walking as He walked’ means. The first time my family and I celebrated, it was a one day feast and Bible study under the arbor of our previous home. It was a sweet time with friends that ended all too quickly.
Last year we joined a couple families and stayed at one family’s home, with the guys camping. It was a mixed blessing as we had good food, fellowship and dance, while the host family decided it wasn’t ‘for them.’ (My reading of Hope Egan’s Holy Cow over that weekend threatened his love of swine. We parted with a hug, but I knew as I pulled out of the drive that our paths had just diverged… I still pray for them.)
This year could not have been more totally different, or much bigger of a blessing. Right after Sukkot last year, Father led us to Davar Chaim. My family and I were looking for a place of healing and support as we grew in understanding the Hebrew roots of our faith. He knew exactly what we needed and for several months could come in an rest and learn. We were ministered to, for a while.
Well before I even had a renewed desire for ministry (feeling totally inadequate and trying to UNlearn a lot of traditions of men/doctrinal junk), a set of circumstances unfolded at Davar such that I was asked to help lead and be the primary teacher… Talk about pressure to study and dig into Scripture!! Challenging, particularly when most of the fellowship I was/am leading have been on all or parts of this walk for anywhere from four years to forty years!! Truly humbling, and yet, the Father has been GOOD! They have been gracious and I feel like the learning curve is starting to be manageable!
So, when Abba Yahweh moved us closer to the fellowship and placed us in a beautiful setting, perfect to host Sukkot, I took the leap and then figured out I had never celebrated for a whole week… D’uh!! (I am rarely accused of overthinking anything… LOL!)
Needless to say, the Father again answered with abundant blessings.
We modified a small greenhouse into a shower facility. Abba Yahweh provided a home for our goats so the barn could be converted into a meeting shelter. He provided, through a friend, a trailer with gas burners for cooking. A neighbor brought equipment and dug latrines. We weeded aging flower beds, mulched, trimmed trees and hedges, burned brush, etc… Men from our Fellowship provided a day of work to help in numerous ways. We installed electrics in the barn, etc… Lots of little details…
And, Yahweh gave me a passion for, of all the things we could study, the Book of Ezra.
In His goodness, we felt like all the details were in place about a day before Sukkot and we had an anticipatory day of rest before friends and family began arriving.
One cool detail was how a couple guys, hours apart, decided to pool their musical talent and, after one practice weekend and lots of electronic communication/practice tracks, they showed up with guitars, amps, drums, bass, etc… We had awesome music and worship times!!
Many more blessings. The ladies handling so many logistical details regarding food, paper products, etc… Or another couple couple guys going to Wally-world at 11 pm to find a few beef briskets to smoke in the smoker…. Mmmm… they were good. Especially the left over pieces fried a day later with friends from Andrews. So many great memories.
The very best part is how the Father showed up!! At the high point we had more than 35 children, and no squabbles!! Joy and Peace reigned in an incredible way!!
As people’s schedules allowed, they came and went with numbers gusting over 70 at one point and yet, several new couples I had never met showed up during a lull in numbers, and we were able to spend hours talking and getting to know each other. ‘Drashing the Word, and hearing each other’s story. What a huge blessing!
The first was a sister that had a knee out of place and had been on crutches for weeks. We had been praying for her as she had had several orthopedic appointments and solutions were being debated. Well, she fell out of a chair and as she got up she exclaimed, ‘My knee! It is in place!’ Over the course of several days the stiffness wore off and she was off the crutches and walking again.
A day later, a brother asked for prayer and anointing as he had been dealing with severe depression and sleep loss. A couple brothers anointed him with oil and prayed over him. He left to take of a matter that needed his attention before going home to bed. The next morning he reported “the best nights’ sleep in a couple years.”
Another lady asked for prayer on a matter and the Ruach (Spirit) revealed other things as we prayed and she was released from some burdens she had carried for decades.
There are others that I can’t mention, but it has been obvious, the Ruach was moving… So clear that when the Word says, “MY appointed times are these,” Yahweh plans to show up and meet with His people.
Our worship times were sweet, sweet!
Fellowship times of impromptu circles discussing the Word, sharing books and authors, wrestling with eschatology and talking late into the night were incredible!
Late yesterday, as the last couple families drug their feet leaving, I sympathized completely. Nobody wanted it to end. We’ve been on the mountain together and nobody wanted it to end. It all ended far too soon, but we have to say ‘goodbye’ to the sukkah. It leaves us with anticipation of the last great day, the eight day that will never end! A new and eternal beginning.
Fitting that tomorrow we begin the Torah cycle again and we will read, ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.’
Yahweh bless you, and keep you;
Yahweh make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
Yahweh lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.
b’shem Yeshua haMashiach, Sar Shalom!