He Is So Romantic
A love story….
When Jon and I celebrated twenty-four years of marriage I began thinking about our 25th and asked if we could save and plan over the next year for a trip to Israel. What better way to celebrate enduring love than to go to the land of the Bible and soak in the truths of God’s Word (and the rich minerals of the Dead Sea!).
I started researching tours and talking with people who had been. On the same weekend of dreaming big, a commercial aired on TBN stating they were giving away trips for two to Israel every week throughout the year, and a Grace Tour composed of the 52 winners, their guests, and TBN partners would take place the following year. I immediately followed the online entry rules and didn’t think anything more about the contest…
Three days later I received an email stating I won! I thought it was a scam. Jon called the contest operating agency, and they verified I was the first of 52 winners. Shocked! We were going to Israel!
The timing was going to be perfect- we would travel within two months of our 25th wedding anniversary and at the beginning of Israel’s spring. There was so much detail surrounding the win that I knew this gift was nothing but an act of generous love from the Father’s heart. I had been saying to him for months, “Whether I see your existing holy city or I see the New Jerusalem to come, I win.” Yep. I used the very language that would take me to Israel!
And it gets even better! You see, the day I received the email notification was the exact day- in fact, the exact hour my son returned to the United States from Israel! At the tender age of eighteen, Jacob was able to experience something I had longed to do for decades. But that’s a parent’s heart, right? The opportunity for him to travel with his Bible college to Israel and enrich his learning opened up, and we sent him with grace and excitement. I remember giving Jacob a handcrafted journal with scripture verses pertaining to his tour itinerary. I told him to write as much as he could about each location, and I would study the same scriptures at home and also write in a duplicate journal of my own.
Back to the moment I learned that I won… I was in the kitchen unloading the dishwasher and remembering the time God sent my husband and me on an all-expense paid trip to Paradise Island’s Atlantis Resort with the Regis and Kathie Lee Show. I reflected on that gift from my Lord and the critical timing of his teaching me about his character in contrast to my fears surrounding our recent change in finances. We had just started a family and I became a stay-at-home mom, which cut our income in half. Could we survive, I wondered? Oh, more than survive. God showed off with that win! So, in the very moment of reflecting on God’s gift many years earlier, the new email notification sounded. It was as though the Father replied to my grateful heart’s meditation, “Oh you thought that was good? Watch this!”
And then this detail… One of the websites I visited while researching tours was Pastor Joseph Prince of Singapore. I knew he regularly visited Israel, and I was curious if he ever opened up the opportunity for others to travel with him. I always had been impressed by his love for sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with the Jewish people and his command of the Hebrew language when teaching Old Testament truths. Much to my surprise, I learned upon winning the trip that Joseph Prince would be a part of the Grace Tour and would teach at various locations we would visit in Israel!
I know you’re thinking, “Renee, there is just too much coincidence here. It’s almost hard to believe!” But it’s not a coincidence; it’s the attentive, perfect love of God! He’s into the details, y’all!
There is no greater Romantic than God! He is Love and he shows off his love for the glory and praise of his name! That is why I must testify to his compassion toward me. The details cannot be missed!
So with a gushing heart that’s been refreshed in the precious remembrance of the exceedingly great things God has done for me, I wish you the sweetest of Valentine’s days! “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all” (2 Corinthians 13:14).