Storms in life…they come and sometimes often and close together.
Storms have never really frightened me. As a child, I often perched myself on our covered front porch to watch thunderstorms and lightning strikes until my mother, in a distressed voice, called me to quickly get back in the house.
I’ve been known to take walks in the rain. But I also have resorted to safety when thunder clouds rolled in, skies darkened menacingly, and threatening tornado warnings rang out.
Storms from weather patterns fascinate me, but the one thing that causes my heart to sing and puts a huge smile on my face is when suddenly after a storm, an amazing sight appears in the sky overhead – a rainbow.
What is it about a rainbow that just makes us feel good about the world? What is it about spying those colorful spectrums of light that makes my mind automatically begin singing words, written by E.Y. Harburg, who wrote all of the songs for the movie, The Wizard of Oz?
“Somewhere over the rainbow, skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.”
When that melody and those lyrics come to my mind, the Judy Garland version from that movie is not what plays in my head. Instead a version, including lyrics from “What a Wonderful World”, first made famous by Louis Armstrong, sung by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole is my favorite. You can listen to it here.
Rainbows. They make us believe there is light and joy and happiness after a dismal storm. God mentions rainbows in the Bible, His Holy Word, and the very first one appeared in the first book of Scripture (Genesis) when God sets a rainbow in the sky after the great flood as His promise not to destroy the wicked world again by water.
In other scriptures, the rainbow symbolizes God’s glory and power and the fact that He is a covenant-keeper. In other words, the rainbow demonstrates that His works and His ways are beautiful and good and that God is always with us, He will never forsake us.
That’s the kind of reassurance we need after storms of life batter and beat us down. And they will do so. Just recalling this past year and the storms of the you know what remind us how detrimental and destructive it has been for so many of our brothers and sisters around the world.
“If you want to enjoy the rainbow, be prepared to endure the storm.” ~ Warren Wendel Wiersbe
But God gives us hope and reassurance that we can persevere.
These thoughts permeated my mind recently as Papa and I were driving back home after a visit to our oldest daughter and son-in-love who live in a different state.
For quite some time, they have been searching for a house to purchase and of course, what transpired in the last year put a halt to that. Daughter’s background is in medical research and amidst lock-downs, restrictions, and upheavals, what’s been happening has occupied the forefront of her mind.
But at last, the timing seemed right and a house to fit their preferences came on the market. When they were able to buy their very first home, Papa and were so happy and excited for them. We couldn’t wait to see their new place in person, so we traveled the seven hours or so to help them clean and prepare it for their move.
And that’s when it happened. Rain fell as they showed us through their house, but then it stopped, and the sun appeared. We stepped outside onto their front porch so that Mama could snap a photo of them at their new place and we all could not help but see it — a rainbow. Not just a portion of one, but a complete, end-to-end rainbow, as if to say “dreams really do come true.”
But that rainbow meant so much more. It signified a promise that God is with our beloved daughter and son-in-love, that He provides for them, He blesses then, He gives them hope and beauty after a storm.
And He does that for us all – no matter who we are or where we live or what our circumstances may be. He’s there to help us weather life’s storms, its disappointments, and its difficulties when He ask Him for His help and we offer up a gift of gratitude and thanksgiving for His provision and for that wonderful world He gave us.
“Gratitude is the real treasure God wants us to find, because it isn’t the pot of gold but the rainbow that colors our world.” ~ Richelle E. Goodrich