“What is your birthday wish?” my friends asked as we sat together enjoying home-made soup and crusty bread before an open fire. It is autumn here in the southern hemisphere and such fare, warmth and companionship were a gift in themselves.
“Hmm,” I thought for a moment. “Breakfast in the warm sunshine on the verandah, watching elephants across the valley.”
They chuckled. “That’s quite a tall order,” one of them said and we all agreed. The conversation moved on, but not until I had whispered a silent prayer.
“It would be wonderful, Lord …” and left it at that.
Two days later my birthday dawned. It was a glorious morning, still and clear. I had flown across the country and now the only sound was the birds. I and my companions for the day agreed it would be lovely to have breakfast on the verandah in the sunshine. I looked for elephants, but none were to be seen. No problem.
“Thank you, Lord, for two out of three.”
In this place you can have all four seasons in one day, so a sunny morning on that first day was a happy event.
Later in the day we went for a drive and delighted in the variety of game we were able to watch. As we turned for home, the sun was sinking and the temperature dropping. Clouds were unfurling in the west. We crested a small hill and there, as we watched the road ahead an elephant emerged from the bush. Followed by another. Then two calves, then another female. Not just one elephant but five joined the assorted herds on the plain in front of us.
My heart sang with joy at the love of my God who had given me elephants on my birthday. But He was not finished with me yet. For He had one more surprise in store.
A sunset. A glorious sunset. And I had the impression that these were the candles on my cake that God had made for me on this, my birthday.
What a gift! What a joy! That’s my God!