Life in the clouds
Gasp! “My water broke!” reported my wide-eyed wife. We had been looking forward to this day for 10 months, yet still the surprise took me off guard. After a quick recovery from the drop in my stomach, I got my jaw off the floor. “Alright! Yes! How are you? This is awesome!” Oh, the excitement that comes with a baby!
My wife is a rock star! At 2:00 the following morning, our daughter Adeline was born, October 1, 2022, in a perfect birth experience.
In ignorant bliss, we enjoyed every newborn snuggle and smell until our room filled up with somber, caring faces. “We found something,” said the doctor. Turns out, the bright beginning with our newborn would be a bit cloudy.
One of my favorite things about dairy farming is being able to watch the sunrise every morning. Each birth of a new day has such a variety of sunrises they could fill every museum with unique, beautiful art and still have more left over; and just think, I get to see it every morning! I often feel compelled to take a picture. My Instagram page could get a little heavy on the sunrises.
Over my many years of extensive sunrise study, I have discovered that a sunrise without clouds is still a sunrise, but with much less depth and brilliance. Without clouds, the sky feels empty, but they can be the reality of darkness and storm. Seen rightly, they can be the reflection of the sun’s beauty!
Flying with the clouds has always been a dream of mine. The conditions need to be just right. Too many clouds and I can’t get through them. Just right and I’ll dash around them like Aladdin on my magic carpet.
The news about Adeline is a black cloud. The results of an MRI show that there’s a cyst taking up about ¼ of her brain in the back, causing the brain fluid drain to be blocked, building even more pressure in her head.
The brain is a beautifully intricate work of art. It’s the creative work of the Designer showing His glory. Without this dark cloud news, I never would have known.
Bringing in the cows on day three, I yell into the darkness of the pre-dawn morning and I remember that God says, “Trust me! Don’t depend on your own understanding.”
The sun comes up and the clouds reflect the beauty of the sunrise. What artistry, what awesome display of creativity showing his glory!
In life’s dark clouds, we can see beauty. Like the beauty of God’s grace, giving us his undeserved favor and forgiveness of sin. Beauty of God’s work through his people. A handshake with a hidden $150 and a whispered, “Driving to Rochester gets expensive.” The healing touch of a hug that means more than a hug. Friends who understand pain and can mourn dissonance in expectations vs reality.
As I stand, slack-jawed, at the brilliant puffs , swirls, streaks of beauty exploding across the morning, I realize again that God works such beauty through clouds!
When things are dark, we rehearse what we know. This I know for sure; “Her frame was not hidden from God when she was made in the secret place, when she was woven together in the depths of the earth. His eyes saw her unformed body; all the days ordained for her were written in His book before one of them came to be.”
From God’s infinite, all-knowing view, I know that there is nowhere I can go that He is not there. If I go up to the heavens, He is there; if I make my bed in the depths, He is there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there His hand will guide me, His right hand will hold me fast.” (My paraphrase of Psalm 139)
My milk hauler asked, “What is healthy?” It’s God’s best plan. It’s His brilliance shining through the dark clouds in my life! Would that I not block God’s brilliance but rather, reflect God’s glory. As the song says, “Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord to thee.”
Meet your farmer – Jonathan Gerdes. He and his wife run a farm-to-table raw milk dairy in Caledonia, Minn. If he isn’t in the barn, you can find him dating his wife, playing with his kids, leading youth group, or flying in the sky. Visit gerdesfreshfarm.com for more info.