The last two days have been rather exhausting yet incredible. Yesterday morning we woke up bright and early to drive to northern Israel. We first went to the church on Mt. Beatitudes followed by other churches. The next part of our journey took us to Galiliee, where we went to a museum and a boat ride on the Sea of Galilee. It was so fun. But even still I was awaiting something more incredible. We ended our touring of Galilee at the Jordan River.
I was blown away. We got to the site for the Jordan River baptisms where we also received a white robe, towel, and a baptism certificate. I am sure to some that this simple idea of baptism means nothing. However, it changed my world forever.
All I could do was think about how I was at the river where Jesus was baptized and where John did his ministry. The very idea of following in the footsteps of Christ is unfathomable. Back in that day, John baptized people for salvation, but Christ got baptized for another reason. He chose to be immersed in waters to reveal the symbolism of his own near death. Going into the water shows the world something significant. As one closes their eyes and takes a deep breath, transformation begins.
I chose to be baptized, however for many reasons. Of course there is the given answer that I wanted to be baptized because Jesus was baptized and it was the Jordan River. Why would I miss that opportunity? But I had another major reason. I have been relying on myself for so long, trying to improve my situations. I think I am capable of doing it myself. A huge part of Christ’s ministry was to show everyone how to lose the self. For the first time, I truly understand that now. Because of my pain, my selfishness, my arrogance, or whatever else, I haven’t relied on God the way I know I have needed to.
Walking into the water yesterday I began to weep. As my feet entered into the chilly waters of the Jordan, I began to cry. Why would I cry if I am just being baptized? What’s the big deal? Honestly, it goes back to my lack of honor and trust in God. Being baptized yesterday was a symbolic event of me dying to this girl I have become and allowing for a brand new awakening to come forth. Coming out of the water, I feel a freedom that is completely foreign to me. I cried still. These tears, for once, were not tears of my own pain or regret but rather tears of an overwhelming peace. This peace gives me a new found freedom and I smile.