It can be hard to get a two year old to give up the markers. She loved the bold lines they made and I hated the mess. Her fingers were blue, then black. She especially loved the black. So I said to her “I want to make a rainbow” and she was all in as I reached for the crayon tin. We made our curved lines of green, blue, red, orange, yellow and purple, not necessarily in that order. And the markers were forgotten. Who doesn’t love a rainbow?
As I grew up, I learned a few things about rainbows. Rainbows came after storms. Rainbows were beautiful. Rainbows were a sign of a promise. I even heard that rainbows could lead you to a treasure, if traced to their “end.” Rainbows don’t last very long, so you have to stop whatever you’re doing and go and look. And another important thing is that there has to be some sunshine involved. Looking for them and enjoying them for the amazing spectacle that they are and contemplating what they mean, has fascinated me and many others since the day of Noah.
As a little girl in Sunday School, I learned that the rainbow was a sign from God to Noah and his family, after they stepped off the ark following the great flood that destroyed every living thing. It was a promise that He would never again do that. Sure there are still floods today, but they have not and never will again, wipe everything out. God told Noah to look up and see the rainbow and know that He would keep His promise. I can see the rainbow and know that God keeps His promises.
It is obvious that rainbows are beautiful and they mostly occur after storms. But not always. The picture I’m sharing is of a rainbow that is in the clouds on a perfectly sunny day. I know the “conditions” were perfect in the sky for this to occur, but it is still cool and still a reminder of the promise. As far as a treasure at the “end” this is debatable. Unless, you consider just the gift of the beauty of it that inspires us to take some time to give it our undivided attention. Perhaps grab a camera and capture the image, since it is so fleeting, and enjoy the majesty of it.
And don’t we need something like a rainbow after a storm in our lives? Some kind of beauty to behold, some kind of promise for enduring “stuff” that was hard? Yes, I believe we do, but we have to look for it. And just as the rainbow that sits up where the clouds are, we have to look up to see the good, the beautiful and the promising things that can result from the storms.
Let’s not forget about the light. Light is an essential ingredient that I’ve heard, but not that I totally understand it all, does the “magic” of splitting what we wouldn’t normally see, into all those beautiful hues we view in the clouds.
This makes me think of Jesus, our Light. When we come to Him in our storms, or realize that He has been there all along, we can make it through to our rainbow moments. Our times when we see that beauty comes from the broken. But we have to look up to Him, the Author and Finisher of our faith, Who was broken so we could inherit everlasting life. Looking beyond the storm. Looking at our problems through Him, instead of looking at Him through our problems. This perspective can make all the difference.
We have to make the decision to look for and see Him at work in whatever we are going through. This could be our rainbow moment. The moment that makes us forget the markers that label us: loser, weakling, worthless. The markers that dirty our hands and threaten to bleed through our lives and turn us away from His promises.
The next rainbow you see, use it as a reminder that God has made you a promise. He is good, all the time. The “good” times and the “bad” times, working them together for your best interest and for His glory, which believe me, is in your best interest. When God is glorified in your life, He brings you along into the blessing. He lifts you up from this earth where we are strangers and pilgrims, into a heavenly, beautiful, abundant existence that is colorful and majestic.
Don’t be afraid of storms because they can’t really harm you, because they can’t take away from you His promise to always be with you. Jesus is the One who controls the wind and waves, He proved this to His disciples when they were afraid of a storm. He showed them when He speaks peace, that’s the final word.
Go to His Word in the storms: this is how we can see our storms through Him. Stay in His Word until you see the rainbow and follow it all the way through to the treasure that “moth and rust cannot corrupt” because that treasure is stored up in heaven.
Scripture references: Genesis 9:11-17, Hebrews 12:2, John 1:4, Romans 8:28, Mark 4:36-39, Matthew 6:19-21.