I can't remember when it started, but rainbows have become a very special part of my life. There is something simply and wonderfully awe-inspiring about them... how they stretch across the sky from one end to the next, as far as the eye can see. How the colors are sometimes faint, yet other times extremely bold. And my most favorite quality about a rainbow is that you can't see one unless there has been some rain. Aside from each of these lovely reasons, the rainbow is important to me because it is a reminder of God's promise and protection. God put His signature covenant of promised protection to never flood the earth again, to Noah and future generations, by way of a rainbow. Obviously, God simply stating that He'd stand by His promise would have been good enough... yet, He created a visual reassurance. A rainbow.
There have been significant times in my life where I've been searching for God. Searching for an answer. Searching for comfort. Searching for something that gave me the reassurance that God was with me... that He heard me. And though it doesn't happen all the time, (I can probably count them on one hand), in the most significant of times, God put a rainbow in the sky for me. I'm not speaking figuratively. I mean a very literal, beautiful rainbow. In those moments, I'm usually in the car and have been in the middle of silent painful tears or in a state of pleading and weeping, only to look up and cry even more because I saw it... a rainbow right in front of me... God's reassurance to my soul.
I will say that there are MANY times over the years that I've searched for a rainbow. After a particularly rough day or a particular fear or worry that had consumed my mind, you will find me standing outside after the rain, looking up in the sky CRAVING to see a rainbow (my husband can verify this!). Starving to see that "sign from God" that everything was going to be okay. I don't always get it. In fact, like I said, I can only count a few times that it's actually happened. And that's not to say that in the times I've not seen a rainbow that things didn't work out in my favor, but the fact that I don't see them all the time, makes the rainbow that much more special to me when I do see one. Because they never leave me without pause or without gratitude... or without peace. And every time. Yes, every time I have seen one, they have shown up (like I said) in a significant time in my life. At a time of questioning whether or not I made the right decision. A time of asking for God's favor and blessing upon a dear friend.
And most recently, a time of needing reassurance of God's peace, promise and protection upon my family.
When all of this happened with Ethan a couple of months ago, I started to really understand how we truly have no real control over what happens in life. Yes, I can control what I want to spend my money on, or whether or not I want to watch TV... but the true details and designs of our lives, whether or not we are affected by death or illness, accidents, sadness, etc... Outside of common sense, those things are out of our control. And when that reality truly sunk into my mind, I became afraid. I began to have fears - truly frightening fears - about not only Ethan's life, but Adam's life and even mine. My prayers for protection over Ethan became prayers of protection over me and Adam's lives as well. It was a strange pit I was in for a while, and though it's still a struggle sometimes, I'd decided that faith should prevail over fear. I'm mentioning this because during that turmoil in my mind, I searched the skies for the reassurance I so desperately needed. My comforting sign of God's promise to me that both my son, and my husband - my little family - were going to be okay. Needless to say, weeks went by and though I did begin to feel God's peace, I never saw the rainbow. There was one morning on the news that they showed a beautiful rainbow that appeared the day before, and not was it just any rainbow, but a DOUBLE rainbow. I found myself upset that the Lord didn't allow ME to see it in person. This may sound ridiculous to you, but when I say that rainbows have surfaced in my life during extremely meaningful times, I'm completely serious. And I'm not suggesting that the rainbow itself has any power or that God only answered my prayers when I saw one... all I'm saying is that in the times that God has allowed me to see this burst of color in the sky, which always comes after the rain... He's allowed my heart to feel an extension of His presence & promise in the rare visible form. And even though I would have believed in Him anyway, His rainbows have been my reassuring "hugs".
Which now brings me to the picture you see in the top left corner of this post. Just when I stopped looking for the "reassurance" from the Lord. When I stopped looking for a sign from Him, and decided to just BELIEVE and TRUST Him, even if He didn't reveal Himself in the way that I wanted.....
He gave me a rainbow. And when I saw it, I cried tears of joy. I thanked Him that even though He didn't need to prove Himself to me, He did it anyway.
And the most touching of all was when the silly, self-indulgent panic of whether or not that rainbow was in regard to my fear over Ethan's life or Adam's life.... through the tears....
I saw there was not only one rainbow... but two.
The picture doesn't do it justice, but if you look closely, above the more dominant rainbow was another one that a was bit more faint... but in person, it was perfectly there and completely visible. And on that day, in that moment, it was wonderful display of God's tenderness towards little ole' me.
Thank you, Lord. Thank you so much for that unexpectedly sweet day.