Although written from the perspective of a widow, this article speaks to women of all ages in whatever situation they are; single, married, separated, divorced or widowed. Karen’s testimony exemplifies the truth of Isaiah 54:5; “For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of hosts is His name; and your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.”
When I first gave my life to Yeshua (Jesus), as a single Jewish woman in my early 30’s, I soon discovered the beautiful Song of Solomon in the Hebrew scriptures and I began to enter into an intimate “bridal” relationship with the Lord that far surpassed any human love I had ever experienced. The divine love of my Creator streamed into my life through Yeshua, bringing healing to every area of my heart that had been hurt by broken relationships and family tragedies. I began to walk in a deep contentment as a single woman that I had never known before and was set free from the need to be validated by being in a relationship with a man.
In the midst of this new freedom and unspeakable joy, having also received the gift of the baptism of the Holy Spirit, the Lord brought David Davis into my life, a wonderful Gentile man of God. The Lord called us together as a “one new man” (Jew & Gentile) couple to immigrate to Israel and pioneer ministries on Mount Carmel. For 30 years of marriage we partnered in the work of the Lord in Israel, also travelling and ministering as a team internationally. I was exceedingly blessed to have been nurtured, released, and encouraged by my husband to fulfill the giftings the Lord had placed within me.
The day we received the shocking news that a biopsy of a growth on David’s neck showed malignancy, great fear rose up in me. What would this mean? Would I lose my husband? Would we lose our ministry? Suddenly I heard these words in my spirit: “You have already lost your life!” “You have already died and your life is hidden with Messiah” (Col. 3:3). With a deep revelation of these words, the fear suddenly left me.
As David and I walked together through the journey of medical decisions and treatments, I became his primary caregiver. For eighteen months, I watched as this powerful man of God slowly deteriorated into a state of helplessness. Although we both strongly believed in the healing power of God and many were standing with us for a miraculous healing, we began to understand that the Lord was going to take him home to Himself. For me the process of grief had already begun in those last few months of David’s life, as I wept night after night from heartbreak and sheer physical and emotional exhaustion.
One night after David had fallen asleep, I went into our living room and knelt in prayer before the Lord. In the midst of a flood of tears I became aware of an inextinguishable flame of the fire of the Lord’s love on the altar of my heart. The words “Many waters cannot quench love” (Song 8:7) came to me. I knew then that nothing could separate me from that vehement flame of the love of God. “Nothing shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:38-39). The source of my joy, my strength, my peace, since surrendering my life to Yeshua, had always been His love that had poured so lavishly into my life. I began to comprehend Paul’s words that I could even be “sorrowful yet rejoicing” (2 Cor. 6:10).
The day that the Lord took David home, He placed His loving arm around me and we continued on in the divine dance that had begun decades earlier, when I first met my Heavenly Bridegroom. As I sat on my balcony looking out over the lush green mountain of Carmel, out to the Mediterranean Sea, I understood that Yeshua would be by my side as I ventured into this uncharted territory of the rest of my life.
My daily prayer became Paul’s words in Eph. 3:19, “to know the love of Messiah which passes knowledge, that [I] may be filled with all the fullness of God.” I knew that I would not need to live out my life in a state of loneliness or emptiness, that I could truly be filled with all the fullness of God. I determined that I would not allow the enemy of my soul to rob me of that promised fullness of His love.
In Jewish tradition, on the thirtieth day after a loved one’s passing, another ceremony takes place at the gravesite with the placement (“unveiling”) of the headstone. As I prepared myself that morning to return to the cemetery with close family and friends, I went to my keyboard to pour out my heart before the Lord. My hands began to move over the keys and a new song came forth, as these words flowed from my lips: “Ever present help, ever present love, ever present peace, as a seal upon my heart. Passing through this valley with you hand in hand, You’ll turn every tear to springs of living water in this land. Yeshua, You are here! Yeshua, You are here! I’ll go from strength to strength, strength to strength, glory to glory!”
As I sang these words, the Lord lifted the raw grief from my heart, and a deeper well of fresh living water was opened to me. Through the painful loss of my precious husband, I have gained the reality of eternity in greater measure than I had ever known before. David’s passing has “provoked me to jealousy,” to continue to run hard after the Lord, to finish my course, knowing that there is a glorious inheritance that awaits each of us who are found in Messiah. “Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”
Karen Davis is an Israeli worship leader, recording artist, songwriter, and speaker, well-known internationally for her Messianic praise and worship music. Based on Mount Carmel, Israel, Karen has a passion to see the “warrior bride” of Messiah rising up throughout the world. Learn more>>
Karen and her late husband David are the founders of Kehilat HaCarmel, a congregation of Messianic and Arab believers. People travel to the congregation from all over the world to take part in prophetic worship and prayer watches. Karen continues on as the congregation’s worship director and to speak and lead worship internationally.
Women of the Word holds events in the United States and hosts trips to Israel where we visit the biblical sites and also the “living stones,” the people of the land. The Amazing Israel Adventure includes taking part in a worship watch led by Karen Davis and visiting the women’s and children’s refugee shelter at Kehilat HaCarmel. We also visit with other Messianic and Arab believers. Join us for our next trip February 26 – March 10, 2023.