What do you think when you see a rainbow? Do you imagine a pot of gold at the other end? Ponies, cotton candy clouds, and princesses? A fulfilled promise that has lasted for centuries? A continual reminder of the love God has for such a sinful race?
Earlier this week, I saw a rainbow. It was not one like I have ever seen before. It seemed to be giving off its own light, as if it had some sort of internal light source. However, from what little I have heard about rainbows, I have never learned about self-sufficient rainbows. They always have to gain light from another source in order to be visible. I can imagine that the first rainbow that Noah saw was more than bright; perhaps more brilliant and spectacular than anything that we see today.
I saw a children’s video today about Noah. He looked like Santa who was riding in a boat full of smiling, talking animals that could not have been happier to ride on Clause Cruise Lines. The reality is that no one was smiling at that time: not a single animal was sitting on Mrs. Noahs’ lap purring. For 120 years Noah had been preaching the absurd truth that an unheard of natural disaster was going to strike. One hundred and twenty years is a long time to ponder on something and wonder if you are crazy like everyone says. To put the icing on the pickle, he went into the crazy house that he had been building and was closed in with no way out. That was just the beginning of the nightmare.
As the violence of the storm increased, trees, buildings, rocks, and earth were hurled in every direction. The terror of man and beast was beyond description. Above the roar of the tempest was heard the wailing of a people that had despised the authority of God. Satan himself, who was compelled to remain in the midst of the warring elements, feared or his own existence. (Patriarchs and Prophets p. 99)
The ruler of the world feared for his life. He was the one who supposedly had control over it all, yet this was far beyond his power. After the wild tempests roared, the trial continued. Noah was forced to stay in that ark for a long time with all those stinky, cramped, noisy animals. Even when he was able to get out of the ark onto land, imagine what it would have looked like. All had undergone a dramatic change. The gems that once decorated the surface of the earth had disappeared. The beautiful trees and forests that covered the land were torn down. Nothing would have looked similar to what they knew. But, all of the people in the world were present for that first rainbow in the sky. How majestic it would have seemed in comparison to the destruction that abounded. Almost like a peace that transcends all understanding.
What do you think crossed Noah’s mind the second time he saw a rainbow? Perhaps there was a sudden fear that rose up within him followed by a supernatural calming. Maybe he had flashbacks of all the animals screaming out in terror while he feared for his life. Yet, even though he may have felt these emotions, I am sure he was reminded of the promise that God had made when the first appeared. An overwhelming sense of relief that never again would they encounter a disaster like that.; the promise that God made to all generations to come.
Now I want to change from Noah to you. Do thick, dark clouds seem to be surrounding you right now? A storm so ferocious that it feels like it is about to take over your life? That no matter how strong you may be, you will never last to see the sunlight of day again? Perhaps no one on earth will understand the trial you are facing. There is no place to turn for a mighty arm to pull you through the obscurity. Yet the promise of God was not only for Noah, but also for you. God made the covenant with you, but it is not until after the gloomy skies come that we will see the rainbow in the sky.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6,7
I’m learning to look beyond the dark storm that I’m in and Belize that I will see the rainbow on the other side because God has promised.