I am here in Israel first to study. So, we take a lot of field trips and hear a lot of lectures on the land of the Bible. We look at a lot of maps and take down a lot of notes. I will be honest though, I am not good at this kind of learning process. We stare at maps a lot and that is about as foreign as anything can be to me. When my teachers talk about the cross-section of the land, I can no longer understand the words coming out of their mouth. I understand each individual word they say, but when each word is combined with many others to form a lecture, I lose all comprehension. To say the least, I am humbled. I knew that I was coming here as a learner, but I assumed that I would understand what I was learning. In the Hebrew language, people are named according to the meaning behind a name, not because of a beautiful sound that the combination of letters creates. In my Hebrew class, we had to choose a name for ourselves and I chose the name Jordan (yar-den). At first, I was American and chose it because of the sound and because I liked the Jordan’s I have known in the past. I learned that Jordan means, “to go down.” It is a word drenched with humility. It is amazing that Jesus, the Son of the Most High God, was baptized in a river with this very name. He went to one of the lowest places on earth to be baptized by a lowly man and in a way incomprehensible become the Savior of lowly men. One of the greatest things that has, by God’s grace, made a connection with my heart is something my teacher Bill has taught me. That is, Jesus has done things in this tiny country that I will never understand fully, even with an eternity before me. This can be frustrating in my simple understanding of things. All that I think about is how I wish I could understand. But, if I did understand the things that my God has done. If I understood why He set up the land the way that He did. If I understood why there are valleys here or there or why He chose to put His Name on Israel instead America or even why He loves me and why He is humbling me now, would He be God? Would I be man?
I am here now still as a learner, but with the new found knowledge (and I do mean “new.” I have been living in the dark for the past 21 years) that most things will not connect; with what does, I will thank God and with what does not, I will marvel on my knees before the One who comprehends all things. So now, I will go down and fulfill my given name so that my God might be raised even higher.