Rainbows. I’ve seen a lot of them this past year. On flags waving in protest at prayer rallies. In lights projected on the White House. The real thing parading across the sky.
Perhaps God was thinking even of this time in history when He told us that He Himself remembers something when He sees a rainbow in the sky (Genesis 9). He remembers a promise He made to every living thing on the earth. When He sees the rainbow-His bow-in the Heavens, it is a reminder to Him (and to us) that He will never again destroy the world with flood waters.
Imagine the assurance such a sight provided those in the early generations after the flood. Whenever the sky would fill with clouds, lightening, and the first droplets started toward the ground or when bangs thundered through the air, those descendants of Noah could confidently look to the sky for a reminder of God’s holding back. How comforting for them! How reassuring for us.
When I was a little one and I’d see news reports of flooding, my young mind couldn’t grasp the “worldwide” idea….why was God allowing this kind of hurt, destruction, and desperation when He said He wouldn’t? And then, a patient adult would explain (likely over and over again to the nervous little child I was) about the vastness of the flood of which God had been speaking. No more worldwide destruction due to a flood.
These days, the same nervous little child in a grown-up body looks around, and I am frightened by my surroundings. I again see hurt, destruction, and desperation. Probably much like the days of Noah.
And at times a rainbow flag is present. Honestly, (what I pray is) a righteous indignation wells up within myself when I see the hijacking of my symbol of a promise. When loved ones of mine identify with that rainbow pride movement, I struggle. But then I attach the flag to the face of the flag waver. I look into their eyes. Is my anger for their taking a sacred symbol of a promise somehow reflected in my eyes? Is my pride reflected in their eyes as care for their souls? Does the reflection cast look anything like love?
And I am convicted that it’s not my symbol but God’s, and He is a tremendously big God. He is a God who does see souls perfectly, a holy righteous anger and merciful love all together.
I look to the heavens for comfort, and I am once again reminded that days of hurt, destruction, and desperation were to come and are not yet over. And so I plead, “Send us, the whole world, a modern-day ark, Lord.”
Could it be that I can look at rainbows, wherever they may be found and claim that as my comfort? Can I be reminded of the care God provided for Noah’s family? That He provided an ark as a source of protection for them? Can I confidently look to the heavens when I see a rainbow and claim that same promise for my family in this time that resembles the days of Noah? Can I claim an ark for myself? Yes, He gently reminds me that He has already sent a different kind of ark, His own Son, to save souls from a different kind of coming destruction.
From thus forward, I will choose to see the rainbow in its original intent from its Creator. I choose to see the rainbow as a reminder of protection for those who loved God and who love God. It will remind me of an ark that carried them through and of a Savior who saved my soul.
And I will remember in prayer the face behind the flag waver….because of the assurance we can have in Jesus for salvation, not from flood waters but from fire.
God, thank You for the reminder of the rainbow.