The irony and beauty of rainbows and God’s promises

We spent last night around the television, watching the severe storms blow through the area. It’s spring in Kansas, which means that the weather is always exciting. But last night was the first of the really major storms to blow through Kansas.

But just before the storm hit, Dad and I looked out the windows and saw a GIANT rainbow outside. So I threw on my new rain jacket, grabbed my phone, and ran outside in the rain and lightning to take as many pictures as I could.

I love rainbows. I always have, ever since I was a little girl. But I don’t love them because they’re pretty or because they’re mysterious. I love them for what they symbolize.

wpid-0408151940a.jpgToday’s verses are Genesis 9:12-13.

Then God said, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth.”

Did you realize that the original purpose of a rainbow was as a symbol of a promise God made to all creation? I’m not sure a lot of people remember that.

That’s what I think of whenever I see a rainbow. God’s promises.

God made a promise to Noah and his family before the Flood, and He kept His promise. Just like He’d kept every promise before then, just like He’ll keep every promise He’s made since then.

As a child, we learned that God’s promise was never to destroy the Earth by floods again. That was the original covenant that God made with Noah and his descendants. But a rainbow stands for more than that.

A rainbow means that God has made a promise, and that He hasn’t forgotten it. Maybe life is rough for you right now. Maybe things are difficult in your life today. But that doesn’t mean that God has forgotten His promises to you.

What I love so much about the photo that I managed to snap is that the rainbow showed up just before the storm hit. Usually I don’t see them until after a storm is over. But this time I got to see it before the trouble began.

And sometimes God does that for us. He gives us little reminders in a day or in a week to give us something to hold on to. He lets a rainbow show up in our lives to help us remember that He’s still around.

Maybe it’s a smile from a stranger. Maybe it’s a few extra bucks left in a jeans pocket. Maybe it’s a kind email from a friend. Those are your rainbows, friend. Don’t ignore them. Don’t dismiss them. That’s God using bits and pieces of life to reach out to you and remind you that He’s still got it covered.

That doesn’t mean you won’t have to go through the storm. No, that’s the irony about rainbows. You have to have a storm before a rainbow will show up. But we can remember that God will be there before the storm hits and after it’s over.