Page 233 was another long day so I’m not writing its page until the next morning. 🙂 As I finished up the workday after writing Friday’s page, I discovered that none of the outside lights at the building had come on when it got dark. As I investigated that, I found that one of the breakers was tripped but when I tried to reset it, it kept tripping immediately. Given that the lights are wired in different zones, it seemed strange that an issue with one breaker would take out all outside lighting. After sending a text to an electrician friend who is a part of the church, I continued with my Friday night cleaning figuring it would just have to be really dark outside until he would be able to look at it. As I cleaned, and prayed, and thought, it dawned on me that the breaker was not just labeled “south parking lot”, but also had two initials following it. With a theory in mind that the initials had to do with the timer control, I headed back to the mechanical room and disconnected the wire leading to the south lot while leaving the one to the control timer in place. Sure enough, the breaker held and all the lights came on except the offending south lot ones.
Anyhow, long story to say I arrived home at midnight and began my birthday page in a fitting way with a Klondike bar. 🙂 After finishing up some messages and unwinding with some Wii Fitness, I headed to bed. While I slept in for a little while longer than usual, Susan was up by 8:30 and wanting to head to the zoo. We got around and made it to the zoo where Susan enjoyed visiting with her friends and riding the train. While walking through the zoo, an “animal alphabet poem” began forming in my mind as MJ has been asking me if I could come up with some rhymes for her preschool students using animals and the letters of the alphabet. After the zoo trip, we headed home where I fired up the grill to start out traditional lunch of mushroom bacon cheeseburgers. As those were going on the pellet grill, I sat down to work on the rhymes that had begun in my mind. It wasn’t long before both the cheeseburgers and poem were complete.
After lunch, I was able to relax a while before heading down to my brother’s house for an evening celebrating the life of my niece as well as the 80th birthday of my dad. On the way down to the farm, we drove through some light rain a few times with a bright sun on one side of the road and a brilliant rainbow on the other. For me, not only was it a beautiful reminder of God’s promise to never again flood the entire earth with water, it was an overall reminder of a God who keeps His promises. It is through God’s promises that we could celebrate a life that has left this earth too soon, but a life that lives on in eternity. As the evening progressed, an incredible sunset began to fill the western sky and then a light drizzle began to fall which filled the eastern sky with a vibrant rainbow arching over the farm buildings and all the guests who had gathered. For me, it was as if Bre wanted us to know that she was not only in God’s presence, but that her presence was with us and she wasn’t about to miss the fireworks show planned for later that evening! 🙂 Bre loved fireworks, so the celebration concluded with a great fireworks show and then it was time to head home and call it a day.
And so, in an evening of contrasts where we celebrated both a life that only made it 21 years on earth and one that was embarking on year 81, God reminded us all that He is a God who keeps His promises and calls us to a life of faithfulness regardless of the number of years that life may be. All of our celebrations here on earth are just small rehearsals for the great celebration in heaven when we gather with God and our loved ones who have gone before us at the great feast celebrating the victorious Lamb of God.
I pray that you and I would step back and learn to draw into God’s presence when we feel “stumped” by life’s circumstances. I pray that we would notice the many reminders that God gives us, not only of His presence but also of His faithfulness in keeping His promises. I pray for my brother and his family and for all of Bre’s friends and relatives who will miss her physical presence on earth for the rest of our lives here. I pray that God’s peace and comfort would assure us of His presence with us, her presence with Him, and her presence in the “great cloud of witnesses” that are watching over us.