A Psalm 91 Month5:00 AM
Have you ever noticed how life happens in cycles?
Of course you have.
Certain months or weeks seem to operate more smoothly and on more of a predictable routine than others. God knows exactly what we can handle, and thankfully, the crazy unpredictable times seem interspersed throughout the more regular days. I know that's because God knows we'd fall apart if we had nothing but unpredictability in our lives.
Well, the past few weeks, my life has been in an Unpredictable Cycle.
I think I mentioned bees at one point.
Does that ring a bell?
There were about two weeks of complete chaos in our house earlier this month when we couldn't figure out what the heck was going on with these honeybees. I've mentioned that bees periodically seem to consider setting up a hive in our house - right outside my nursery window. Every year, tons and tons of bees miraculously appear trapped between my storm window and the single-pane original windows of this house. They all eventually die and then seem to change their mind about moving in. Each year this happens, I call people to come assess and help me figure out what to do. In particular, there is this one gentleman I refer to as my Bee Man. He is a bee keeper, himself, and is also licensed at removing swarms or hives from homes. He's also one of the kindest, gentlest souls I've ever met. I've started considering his time at our house part of our schooling because he always teaches the kids and I so much about bees.
For a few years now, he makes annual visits to my house and is continually puzzled by our situation.
Over a two week period at the very beginning of May, he was out here 3-4 times a week trying to catch the bees in action, figure out what was going on and whether or not there was an active hive. The quantity of bees dying between my two windows seemed to indicate a hive. But there was never ANY activity visible on the outside of our house. Which there would be plenty of if an active hive were in place.
We had several waves of this happen and each time he'd race over and study the trapped bees, ponder their points of entrance and why they were behaving the way they were. I thoroughly mystified him with our bees. They even mystified the local bee keeper association. I did get a marvelous jar of peach honey from those two weeks of chaos - a gift from our sweet Bee Man.
And ended up having a handy-man friend stuff a bunch of possible access points with steel wool and silicone caulk. For the last week, there have been no bees. Once again, it's totally a mystery.
In the midst of all this bee craziness, my husband was basically not around at all. He was in Chicago for about 4 days of it, then working days and nights at the office for various projects they had going. On top of that, I was trying to keep our school schedule moving so we could wrap up on time.
And then my family all headed to our Farm in Monticello last Friday - Sunday for a surprise birthday party for my 80 year old dynamo Grandma.
And we returned home to discover that our downstairs a/c unit no longer functioned.
This is one of those times when you really just want to break down and cry because the one thing that you really would like, but absolutely don't have, is a sense of constancy or routine or predictability.
Add to that the hormones, exhaustion and emotions linked with being pregnant.
As of today, our a/c is still non-functioning downstairs. But here's where I clearly see the hand of God. This is typically a really really hot time of year here. But since we came home from our Farm Sunday night, the weather has been overcast or raining or just unseasonably cool. The temperature in our downstairs has never gone above 78. And my a/c is usually set on 78. We even have our windows open right now, it's so lovely outside. God is so good! The unit upstairs works, so we're able to keep cool while we sleep.
If you know me at all, you know that for the last several years, one of my constant fears/worries each summer is that our a/c would break down and we'd have to replace both units (our house has two units). We had saved up money in an a/c fund for the day that did happen, but I figured even what I had saved might not be quite enough, as large as it was. Turns out I was right, but even there, God is so good.
We are going to be replacing both units on Tuesday. We'll be getting combined heating/air units that are two-stage units which are supposed to cut our utility bills in half. We're going from a SEER rating of 8 to 17, so our energy efficiency is more than doubling. And we're getting some little issues that have bothered us fixed along with all the new systems, and much of that is being thrown in for free. We will be using up our fund plus a little more beyond that, but God has provided what we need and I will no longer lose sleep over whether the slightest hiccup means our a/c units are dying. Both units are over 22 years old, so we knew this day was coming. The company installing our units is giving us 5 years of free labor and on top of the standard warranties that come with the units. Once again, God is good.
As you can see, this month has been crazy, unpredictable and full of potentially very bad things.
I have seen God's goodness to us throughout it, though. And I continue to be amazed at how His faithfulness is so thorough and perfect. I feel very much like a baby chick sheltering under the protecting wings of my mother hen. This chapter from Psalm could not be more appropriate...
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust."
Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler
He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.
You shall not be afraid of the terror by night,
Nor of the arrow that flies by day,
Nor of the pestilence that walks in darkness,
Nor of the destruction that lays waste at noonday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
And ten thousand at your right hand;
But it shall not come near you.
Only with your eyes shall you look,
And see the reward of the wicked.
Because you have made the Lord, who is my refuge,
Even the Most High, your dwelling place,
No evil shall befall you,
Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;
For He shall give His angels charge over you,
To keep you in all your ways.
In their hands they shall bear you up,
Lest you dash your foot against a stone.
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra,
The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot.
"Because he has set his love upon Me,
therefore I will deliver him;
I will set him on high, because he has known My name.
He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble;
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him, And show him My salvation."
Blessed be the name of our God.