Rain, rainbows and the promises of God

Who doesn’t love seeing a beautiful rainbow in the sky?

I know a vast majority of people in the community of Seymour are just as fascinated by them as I because every time one appears in the Seymourian sky, it dominates my social media feed for the next 24 hours.

This leads me to believe a vast majority of people do exactly as I do when I learn a rainbow has appeared somewhere nearby. We run outside and scan the horizon to find it and snap ludicrous numbers of pictures on our phone to assure we got the best angle with the most complete rainbow with the best possible color. The storm may be raging around us, and still, we endure in order that we might see one of God’s most wonderful displays of artistry.

Rainbows are a wonder to behold and a reminder of the promise of God. In Genesis 9:12-13, it reads, “And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the sky in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth (emphasis mine).”

Rainbows are a sign that even in the midst of dark and difficult situations, even in the face of our failure and sin, God continues to make his compassionate grace available to us. He sees us. He is with us. And he continues to offer hope in the midst of our struggles.

One National Geographic article explains the phenomenon of rainbows in this way: “A rainbow is a multicolored arc made by light striking water droplets. The most familiar type of rainbow is produced when sunlight strikes raindrops in front of a viewer at a precise angle.”

The article provides several interesting facts. For instance, a rainbow only appears to be a “bow” because of our limited perspective. It is actually a full circle. People on different sides of the rain clouds can only see part of the picture, but each sees a beautiful rainbow.

This brings to light another interesting truth: Rain is required to see a rainbow. The presence of a rainbow on the horizon means rain has come, rain is coming or rain is upon us. In order to experience the beauty of the rainbow, one must endure the struggle of the storm.

In John 16:33, Jesus warns, “In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world.” I find myself coming back to this verse often. I like to refer to it as the most unpopular and unpleasant promise of Jesus.

Trouble is an occupational hazard of the human experience. Throughout the course of each of our lives, we will experience a wide array of trials, tribulations and troubles. Some will be thrust upon us. Others will be the result of our own foolish choices. To paraphrase the words of Jesus: The rain falls on everyone from time to time (Matthew 5:45).

Wherever you find yourself today, whether in times of storm or sunshine, remember there is reason to have hope. Trouble will come and go, but God continues to make his power and presence available to us. He promises when we seek him, we will find him (Jeremiah 29:13). He promises to never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5).

In all seasons and every situation, the compassionate grace of God is made available to us. The next time you look to the sky where the sunshine meets the storm and a rainbow stretches across the sky, whether the storm is coming or going, remember the promises of God.

Trouble will come and trouble will pass, but Jesus has promised to be present with us and to provide peace through it all. Sometimes, all we need to do is scan the sky in order that we might see the wonderful reminder of his grace as the rainbow stretches across the horizon.

The Rev. Jeremy Myers is the lead pastor of First Baptist Church in Seymour. Read his blog at jeremysmyers.com. Send comments to [email protected]