Reflections on a Dark Day

August 24, 2017

The last total eclipse of the sun to cross the Northwest happened Feb. 26, 1979. Montana rancher Leroy Bieber was so impressed by the spiritual significance of the event that his written reflections were later printed in the Jan. 7, 1980, edition of the Gleaner. In the aftermath of this month’s most recent eclipse, step back nearly four decades to read Bieber’s comments.

Leroy Bieber is a rancher in the northeastern section of Montana. He was born and raised in that area and after attending local schools went to Walla Walla College. He takes great pride in his family—his wife, the former Lynda Heid, a son Scott, age 10, and daughter Amy, age 2. Leroy's inter- ests, besides his work, include car- pentry and flying. In fact, he is build- ing his own home. He is a Christian gentleman who loves Montana and the work of God.

The morning of Feb. 26, 1979, is one day in my life I will always re- member. It started out as any other day, but the event that took place only made me realize the more that there is a very loving God who di- rects this universe.

Astronomers had predicted that at 9:25 a.m. the moon would pass be- tween the sun and the earth. Those of us who lived in its path would see this great event. As the moon crossed the sun's path, the sky grew dark. All nature responded to the dusk that began to set in, even though the morning had begun only two hours before.

I have often thought of this event and contemplated the kind of God we worship, a God that has been the same kind and loving God through- out this earth's existence.

Malachi 3:10 gives us this declara- tion: "For I am the Lord, I change not." How can this be? This world as we know it is changing from one day to the next. We as human beings are so accustomed to change that we can't understand how God can be this way.

Let's stop and contemplate God for a moment. What makes God changeless? As I study my Bible, I become increasingly aware of one facet of God—His love. A love that is given to each of us no matter what our state in life may be. He doesn't stop loving us because we don't love Him. He keeps reaching down and beckoning us to Him. He wants us to respond to His invitation to love Him, but He doesn't demand us to do this. As we accept His invitation, something happens in our life, a change in our attitude about God and our fellowman. Slowly we come to depend more on God, and then we begin to understand more the depth and meaning of love.

As I witnessed the darkening of the sun during the eclipse and mar- veled at the scene that passed before my eyes, I thought that we should also marvel at what God's love has done for us and how He has brought us to a deeper meaning in our life. As we grow in this love, we should also allow this love to flow out through us to our fellowmen: our family, our neighbors, and especially to our brothers and sisters in our church who also love God.

What a day we live in! Great events have taken place throughout history, but the greatest day in earth's history is yet to come. When the final events take place and Jesus comes to take us home with Him— what a day! What a love!

Let us all accept His love, and then let Him direct us that we will be ready for the final event in this earth's history.