Anyone who’s worked with me in ministry knows that I don’t like asking for help. That’s right; I am that stubborn, Italian, ‘I can do it all’ kind of person. And God loves me too much to leave me that way!
Back in April, I attended Temple Aron HaKodesh’s School of Prayer. There I learned to let go of past hurts and mistakes and failures. I learned how to forgive others and to forgive myself.
One Saturday about this same time, Rabbi Joe Vitkus taught on surrender – surrendering the big ‘I’ and becoming a little ‘i’ like in iPod. Rabbi Neil Lash came up at the end and shared a word from God which called for letting go of the past and called for those ready to do that to come forward. The Spirit nudged me to move.
Being the strong willed child that I am, I asked, “Why? We’ve already done this.”
Again, He nudged me to go. So I went, not knowing why; and in typical ‘Ro’ fashion, pestered my Dad with questions the whole way.
As much as a pain in the buns as I can be, I really did want to let go of whatever He knew needed to go. I may be strong-willed, but not a complete idiot. God speaks, you do.
So as prayers were lifted, and I was anointed by Rabbi Joe, it came to me:
It is now time to let go of past victories and accomplishments. It is time to become a completely empty vessel – to let go of everything from the past – not only the bad, but the good as well.
Why let go of positive things? Part of it is spiritual pride creeping in. “Look what God did for me” or “Look how God used me” where me is the central focus and not God and His doing.
The other part is to be a completely empty vessel – empty and cleaned out – ready to receive a new revelation, a fresh word for the soul.
Also about this time, I received the monthly newsletter from Jewish Jewels, entitled D’var Adonai. (If you don’t receive their newsletter, you should.) There is no way to do their wonderful teaching any justice, so I will simply say that d’var Adonai is translated ‘The Word of the Lord’ and one scripture they quoted was “out of Zion will go forth the law, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” (Is 2:3)
On April 30th I wrote in my journal:
God is ready to do something new in me and through me (Big God, little me).
It’s time to go up to Zion to receive that revelation. And to bring back a fresh d’var Adonai – not only for me, but for my brothers and sisters who are struggling in their life and/or in their faith; who are seeking to hear from the Lord.
It’s time to let go of everything and come up to Jerusalem an empty vessel to receive a new word from the Lord.
Without going into all the gory details, I will tell you that I once more argued with God. I told him that I didn’t have the money anymore, that I spent it on the Seder (as if He didn’t know.) By arguing, I was avoiding Him reminding me that I was supposed to ask for help from my brothers and sisters.
As I said in the beginning, I don’t like to ask for help. But God pointed out something in 1 John 4:20, “he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how canhe love God whom he has not seen?” He told me that if I cannot ask the brethren for help, how can I truly ask God, with the faith that He will help?
To which his smarty-pants daughter replied, “You could, you know.”
Of course, God didn’t respond to this insolence.
So I put together a fundraising campaign and as of the writing of this article, am 2/3 of the way to raising the money to go Israel.
God has taught me a lot in this situation, and I am so glad He did. I am looking forward to going up to Zion for a d’var Adonai. But even more, I am looking forward to bringing it back to my family in Christ and seeing the mighty work God is about to do for us all.