Remembering the promise of the rainbow
By Linda Albert | (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The storms came through Wednesday afternoon. Not again, I sighed, keeping a wary eye on the window near my desk. My car windows were cracked a bit too much for the expected rains, so I went out to put them up. A crack of thunder ushered me back in the door.
Having vacation the week before was nice, but getting back into the swing of things at work has been a struggle. I’m thankful to be physically able to work, as so many friends with fibromyalgia and other similarly painful and energy-sapping diseases, syndromes, conditions or whatever you want to call them are not able to do so. Changing weather only exacerbates the symptoms, another reason I was not looking forward to the upcoming downpours.
Then came the rain ...
I often forget what happens when storms pass. The air is fresher, cleaner, more fragrant. The ever-present East Tennessee pollen is tamed for a little while. The heat abates.
And if all the factors are just so — if the sun is at just the right angle, and the moisture lingers in the atmosphere at just the right spot — every individual droplet of water acts as a tiny prism to disperse the sunlight. Science explains that wavelengths of light associated with a specific color arrive in our eyes from the collection of droplets, forming what we call a rainbow.
I almost missed this rainbow right outside our back door. I would have without one of my coworkers coming back from supper and announcing its presence. Even then, I turned to photographer Daryl Sullivan and asked if he was going to get a shot, returning to my work with no intentions of walking to the door to see. For some reason, I changed my mind and went along with Daryl and a couple of others. I was so glad I did, for stretching across the sky was a perfectly formed arc of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.
What a breathtakingly beautiful promise painted in the sky by the fingers of God.
A teacher in a Sunday school class I attended years ago taught a class on Noah and the great flood that destroyed the Earth as related in the book of Genesis. One of the points he brought out was that, prior to this time, there was no such thing as rain based on Genesis 7:11: “... on that day all the fountains of the great deep were broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.” Can you imagine being a person alive at the time of Noah and seeing this for the first time, if this teacher’s interpretation was correct? The terror in finally understanding what Noah had been telling them all along, yet they didn’t believe or heed the warning? The terror of Noah and his family and the beasts and creeping things and birds of the air as they tossed and spun on angry waves? Even knowing that God had instructed Noah on the building of the ark to save him and all with him — even knowing that God himself closed the door (in verse 16: “So those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the LORD shut him in”) — would have been poor consolation.
But God brought them through.
In chapter 9: 13-15, God sent the promise of the rainbow: “I set my rainbow in the cloud, and it shall be for the sign of the covenant between Me and the Earth. It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the Earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud; and I will remember my covenant which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.”
Sometimes we all get so busy with the demands of life that we forget who is actually in control of it all. The storms will come. There’s no way around it. We will lose the people we love most, our jobs, good health, homes, possessions, perhaps our earthly lives. But I am fully convinced that running into the Ark that is God himself is the only way to ride out the floods.
My daughter posted on Facebook awhile back about my granddaughter, Ellie, seeing a rainbow for the first time. Emily wrote, “The only thing better than seeing this perfect rainbow above my house was witnessing Ellie’s reaction to seeing a rainbow for the first time: ‘Mommy! LOOK! A rainbow! There’s a rainbow! I’ve never seen a rainbow before, and I LOVE rainbows! It’s soooo pretty! It’s God’s promise to us! Can we go read about Noah and how God make the rainbow?!?’”
I pray that I will be as wise as a 5-year-old when I grow up.
Linda Albert is Sunday Life editor and a staff writer for The Daily Times. Her column runs every Sunday in the Life section. You may contact her at 981-1168 or (email@example.com)