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The streets are eerily quiet. Papers rustled in wind-swept corridors; tattered houses lined the dusty roads, and a haunting gloom hovered ferociously over the once vibrant neighborhood. Something is wrong.

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident. Psalms 27:1,3

Small eyes peer through dusty curtains while hoping for food and a drink of much-needed water. There was nothing like cool, refreshing water to quickly quench parched throats and a morsel of bread and butter to feed a ravenous appetite... yet there was almost nothing left. Parents looked at their dying children, and children... their dying parents, praying for swift relief from food trucks on their way to help them, but blocked by the war.... The cry of many hearts was, "Will they come in time?" Will thousands die from starvation as well as enemy bombs, missiles, and gunfire?

The war between Israel and Palestine has flooded media outlets worldwide for the past two weeks and so many innocent lives have been lost in the name of "gold, guts, greed, and glory". Humanitarian efforts were delayed because of revenge and deep-seated anger and hatred. Will this age-old war in the Gaza Strip ever end?

Will the war between brothers ever cease? Ishmael and Isaac, will you never stop fighting because of Abraham's act of disobedience? (Genesis 15; Genesis 16; Genesis 21:9-16). I am sure it is hard for both sides to lose loved ones in the tragedy of a war that breeds new hostility while taking the lives of friends, family, colleagues, and loved ones. Feelings are conflicted as people with hearts try hard not to choose sides, but if forced, would choose the side of being understanding and playing the part of the good Samaritan--the part of Christ. I am sure everyone longs for a "pause"...

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be nomore death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. Revelation 21:4; Jeremiah 31:12

Driving home from work today listening to the radio, I listened to the heart of an Israelite... a jew that was caught between a rock and a hard place. He is a humanitarian aide who works to bring aid to both sides. When he was asked about his mental state during this time, he said sometimes it was hard. Why? Because while helping he may hear of a family member or friend that has been a casualty of the war and sometimes he feels like he cannot go on, but....

Thank God for the "but"! He says that he thinks about his love for friends and families on both sides and instead of becoming dark and revengeful, he holds on to love. Despite this, he said that one thing have given him great peace was the delight that Sabbath was approaching.

Why was this so important? He gushed that Shabbat was a great pause... a mental reset that cradled and comforted his fragile mental state during such a difficult heart-wrenching time. It was a "stop". He didn't have to study war nor focus on the cruelty of this time but he could give it all to God. He said the Sabbath is "a Sanctuary in time" and a well-needed one during this crisis. Is this selfish? Absolutely not!

The Sabbath is the most beautiful gift that God could bestow upon us to rejuvenate our mental health and boost our hopes for a brighter tomorrow. Being in the presence, power, and pleasure (will) of God ... is the best medicine ever given to counteract the wear and tear of a tough week. It is the greatest healer of all wounds and a never-ending fountain of forgiveness of those we have wronged and those who have wronged us.

My heart sang with joy listening to him because here I was, a 'spiritual" Jew... a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, just like Christ was... and still is, rushing home to keep the type of Sabbath he described. I felt a sweet jolt of inexplicable joy as I accepted again and believed the Bible's truth that the true Sabbath starts from Friday evening to Saturday evening; though thousands endorse Sunday, God has never changed the day that He hallowed, blessed, and sanctified.

One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. Psalms 27:4

Enjoy God's mental reset especially set aside for those who are obedient in keeping the Sabbath day holy. God gave the example (Genesis 2:1-3 ); Christ lived the example

(Luke 4:16); His disciples in the old and new testament followed the command (Acts 13:42-44; Acts 17:1,2); and though Constantine sought to change it (; Who Changed the Sabbath to Sunday; Rome's Arraignment), God continues to preserve it (Hebrews 4:1-12). Why? It is a sign...a binding contract of acknowledgment that He is our God in this world today and also forever (Exodus 31: 13,17; Ezekiel 20:12, ). Isn't this the greatest comfort? I believe it is.

And hallow my sabbaths, and they shall be a sign between me and you, that ye may know that I am the Lord your God. Exodus 20:20.

The 7th day Sabbath, Saturday will be kept by all sincere Christians! Are you honest of heart? God is looking for you...

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See you next time! Have an awesome day in the LORD...

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