Reflections on The Holy Land

This will be my first “official” series on this blog.  I didn’t plan this in advance, but my husband and I participated in a Holy Land tour last month and I’ll be sharing my reflections of that experience over the course of the next few weeks. The timing couldn’t be more perfect. For those who participate in Lent, you know that the season began on Wednesday, March 1st.

I’m not going to promise any certain frequency because my schedule is EXTREMELY BUSY (That’s an understatement), but I am drafting posts more regularly and journaling more often, so the content is coming! (To God be the Glory).  Please keep me in your prayers and thank you for your patience with me during the more silent periods.


As I shared on my Instagram and personal Facebook, I was up this morning and these songs were on my heart.

I’ve been a worshipper since I was a toddler in church. I still vividly remember singing along with the choir and mumbling like I knew the words. 😂😂 I LOVED WORSHIP.

I knew I had to have a playlist for my trip and these were two songs that stayed on repeat.

Keeper of the Door is as song that took on a very special meaning to me before the trip. The scripture brings to mind the verse in Psalms:

A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. (Psalm 84:10)

Back Story: I heard a good number of stories about how crowded many of the tour locations would be.

I’m a person that prays about everything. I just expect God’s favor. I try to keep myself from worrying or thinking the worst by believing God for His best–that His Word will not return void and that He is keeper of what He promised. My husband knows that I pray about some of the smallest details of our family and lives.

Before leaving on the trip, I fully understood and had come to terms with the fact that many of the locations that I knew I wanted to see and really “embrace” might be too crowded for me to have the quiet moment that I was desiring to have.

Something many people don’t know about me is that I don’t like being in crowded spaces with groups of people.  If there’s a crowd waiting for an elevator, I will wait. If there’s a sporting event, I will leave early or wait until the crowd has dispersed.

It’s not a serious phobia.  I can function fine in a crowd or a small space (I’m not claustrophobic), but I value my personal bubble and I don’t like sharing it.
That being said, I knew we had limited time allotted for some tour stops and that I might not be able to see some spaces or look in as much detail as I would have liked.

So what did I do?

  1. I prayed (Of course!) 🙂
  2. I made up my mind that just being there was enough. A single day visiting a site in the Holy Land would be better than a thousand elsewhere! This was a once in a lifetime opportunity.  I had to keep that in perspective!

That’s where the lyrics of this song became SO PERSONAL.

I rather be a keeper of the door
And know the power of Your presence Lord
To be able to gain entrance
Right into Your holy presence
I rather be a keeper of the door

One thing I ask
And I will seek
To drink the water from Your living well
My heart inflamed
Cry out oh God
To know You in the place Your glory dwell

I would let the door swing by
Inviting everyone to enter in
Shine the light
Show the way

Those stories weren’t just talk– almost every location we visited was being toured by several groups at one time (I mean hundreds, maybe even close to thousands of people and this was the “off-season”).  In many cases, there just wasn’t enough time to look and touch and see everything I may have wanted to see, but it was better for me to stand by the door or to the side and keep my heart pure from anger/frustration/offense and let others go in and see.

Other times, I was able to better hear our guide and share the details with others who couldn’t hear or who were slower catching up with the group.

More often than not, it was just a blessing to know that you were in a place where Jesus had walked and talked and taught.

My advice to anyone visiting would be to prioritize enjoying the historic sites and to limit your camera time and really listen to your guides.

I have more photos of the sites and views than I do of myself and I prefer it that way. First and foremost, I enjoyed being in the Holy Land and when time allowed I took photos and sometimes stepped into the frame.

This is me in the Garden of Gethsemane. Somehow my husband aka “the bodyguard” managed to clear the crowd to get this photo.

If you know my Mississippi Testimony, you already have a sense of why this was a space that was so important to me. My husband knew it too.


And that brings me to the second song: “Holy.”

And only one word comes to mind, there’s only one word to describe
And only one word comes to mind, there’s only one word to describe

Holy, Holy! Lord God almighty!
Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!

There is no one like You, You are Holy, Holy

 

From the first time I played this song, I have yet to hear it without it bringing tears to my eyes.

I mean it is a POWERFUL song.  

And it would immediately ring in my spirit in many of the places we visited.

…Day after day and night after night they keep on saying, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God, the Almighty–the one who always was, who is, and who is still to come.”
Revelation 4:8

 

 

Initially, I didn’t think we would get to take a photo in the Upper Room.  The room was packed when we entered and there was a lot of movement going on.

This space was one to take in and I reasoned to myself that the memory would be more than enough.  Our group was about to leave when I looked back and noticed that one side of the room was clear, so I stopped my husband for a quick photo.  I was so grateful.

Moments after we took this photo, a minister went from praying and ministering to his congregation to speaking a word over my life that I will NEVER forget.


I feel like my attempts to describe this trip do it such a disservice, but that one word– HOLY– that describes it all.

You go some places in the Holy Land and there are just NO WORDS. You know and feel with everything in your being that you are in a holy place.

That feeling is INDESCRIBABLE.

Those are just some of my initial thoughts looking back on the experience. I have several daily, which have caused me to begin writing in my journal on a more consistent basis.

I am also hoping to be able to share more of my tips and advice for anyone considering touring the Holy Land in the future.

Until next time 💖

TeamBHenry with our Pastor Bishop R. C. Blakes Jr. in Jerusalem

TeamBHenry with our Pastor, Bishop R. C. Blakes Jr. Overlooking Jerusalem