One of the benefits of being raised a church kid, is getting to hear some of the great stories of the Bible told in different ways. Who remembers flannel graphs, ventriloquist puppets and stories told in black light?! One of the most epic Bible stories was always Noah and the Ark, which culminated in God’s promise to never again flood the earth, as evidenced by the very first ever rainbow (and every one seen since) as a reminder!
This afternoon as I was driving toward the east, I spotted what looked like hazy colors of one end of a rainbow low on the horizon, almost touching the earth. The longer I drove, the more I could make out of the definite beginning and end of a huge rainbow, now touching down on either side of the highway. And that’s all I could see….it was clearly HUGE, but all that was visible below the gray haze of wet, misty clouds were these two ends of what I could only assume was an entire rainbow. =)
It made me think of God’s promise to Noah and how easily my very adult self can forget that God is always in control, is always on my side and always holds hope for my future, even if I don’t see the evidence as I expect to. There are plenty of times, actually more often than not, that I don’t see the whole picture, and I can’t really understand how God is working, but it still remains true that there has never been a promise he’s failed to keep, nor will there ever be.
When Jesus was wrapping up his last months and weeks of his very human life, the disciples struggled to understand what he was teaching them about the kingdom of God and why he kept talking about leaving them. They knew well the promises of God through Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Moses, and they had been taught the story of a coming Messiah over and over again since childhood. Now that they were daring to believe that Jesus was indeed the Son of God and the promised Messiah, it looked nothing like what they imagined or had always believed it would.
As I continued to drive, I must have been lost in thought, because it suddenly started really raining hard, and as I turned on the wipers, I looked up to see – through the pouring rain – the entire rainbow, in all its color story, end to end, as if to remind me it really was there all along (and to give me a big high five about tonight’s post!) I reached for my phone to try to get a quick picture, and just like that, it was gone. Not even a glimpse of color near the ground….just gone.
I really had to take a minute to process what had happened….I’m not finding words to describe how gloriously huge and beautiful this rainbow was when it appeared out of nowhere. The rain was pouring all around and through it, and as quick as it appeared, it quickly vanished back into the misty gray that we’ve seen so much of lately. It wasn’t just for me, obviously, lots of people must have seen it, but it felt intimate just the same, as I heard God speak to my heart about my own places of doubt and unbelief. Just because I don’t see the hand of God at work, doesn’t mean the promises aren’t being kept or that he has somehow forgotten me or gotten frustrated with my prayers. It only means the promises of God are being worked out in ways I don’t now see or understand. And it will always be for my good!
I’m so, so thankful for this rainbow lesson today – it’s reminded me that God hasn’t changed, even in a world where it seems everything else has. Sometimes it just takes a rainbow to remember.
(P.S. Tom took this photo from the back of our house while I was upstairs writing about rainbow reminders…..Great is His Faithfulness!)