I find it fascinating how the Lord manages to arrange events in our lives so that we arrive according to His schedule.
This Sukkoth was one of extremes. In years past we celebrated by camping locally with our home fellowship. Though twice, we were in Israel with two of Ron’s sisters – our first choice for celebrating the Lord’s festivals. This year we were unable to go to Israel, and because we don’t camp so easily anymore, the four of us planned to rent an airbnb not far from where we live.
Over the course of our planning, two family events were also being planned. The first was the 50th birthday party for our nephew, who had been the ring bearer in our wedding (he was 4). The second was the impending birth of our great-niece, our sister’s son’s baby.
We live in the far Northwest corner of the Pacific Northwest and both events were to happen about 6 hours away in the Portland, OR, area. This resulted in us deciding on an airbnb nearby on the coast in a little town called Neskowin. This would allow us to easily attend the birthday party as well as allow our sister to be available for the – hopefully, timely – birth of her new granddaughter. All while celebrating the Festival. Family and Father wrapped up neatly and conveniently together.
A few weeks prior to Sukkoth, however, we received the news of our brother-in-law being admitted to the hospital with a very serious case of covid. Two weeks later our brother passed away. That weekend we headed to Oregon to attend his celebration of life, returning with a week and a half to prepare to return to Oregon for Sukkoth on the coast.
During our Sukkoth planning, months prior, little did we know the timing would be such that we’d be available for not only two birthdays – one sure, one hopeful – but to also be close by to support our sister after the death of her husband.
So, during the Season of Our Joy, we joyously attended the party to celebrate our nephew’s life. We gratefully ministered to one sister, and one another together, as we remembered our brother and the joy he took in living for his Savior. And as the last day of Sukkoth approached we joyously sent one sister off with love and blessing to meet her new granddaughter.
One life concluding. One life continuing. One life commencing.
Because nobody knows the day nor the hour, only the Season. Except the Lord.