May 15: Hope is a Rainbow and a Promise

"I don't know where to look for the rainbow, mom!"

We had been watching the front blow in for a while now.

From our perch atop a hill, we saw the clouds rolling in long before we heard the pitter patter of any droplets. Eager to leave the sanctuary inside at the first sight of sun peeping through, we rushed out onto the porch in search of the bow of many colors.

The clouds pulled back like a blanket and beams of gold shone on the ground below, but there wasn't a rainbow to be found in the air of excitement.

"I can't find it, mom! It has to be here somewhere, though right?"

From our wraparound porch growing up, we had seen many a rainbow over the years, and I knew that when the sun came out during a rainstorm there was sure to be one.

The trick is to turn your back to the sun, momma said, and you'll be sure to find it then.


The kids were crazy in the car and we couldn't get home fast enough. The quiet game had been a flop and no one had any more craps to give about being a team player, including us. 

The sky had looked ominous for a while now, and we were less then ten minutes from home when the big, fat raindrops began to pound our windshield. 

Great. I thought. We made it this whole time without any rain and it arrives just in time for us to unload at home in a downpour.

There's a special clause in the hell that is Murphy's Law that applies specifically to parents who are already having a bad day. I'm convinced of this. 

The rain came fast and fierce, but after just a few minutes the black clouds parted and brilliant, unmistakable rays of sun pierced through, lighting the road in front of us. The rain had slowed but was still falling, and a light mist rose from the grass around us. 

"The sun's out now, so that means there should be a rainbow somewhere," I said to my husband. I started looking around but didn't see anything yet. Maybe it's too soon, I thought. 

"No, there it is," he replied, pointing. "I can see it in the rear view mirror."

And as I turned my back to the sun and peered over my shoulder, sure enough, there it was. Clear as day, an entire bow. Double even. 

I'm sure there were better photos to be had in Cleveland today, but we didn't pull over and get one. It was beautiful, though. The kids loved it and squealed with joy until it disappeared from sight. And as we drove over the valley, the curtain of grey rain still visible in the distance, I quietly marveled at a promise made long ago by an eternally faithful God.

Because a rainbow is only visible when we turn our back to the Son.

When life is a storm and we feel like we're overwhelmed by the torrents blowing our way

When we're drowning in the accumulation of our tears 

When we look around us and fateful circumstance is all we can see

When we're discouraged by the wickedness of the world

The very moment we begin to doubt, slowly turning our back to the Son

He reminds us with a bow of many colors that there's always hope. Because He never breaks a promise. 

Never again will he destroy the earth with the salty ocean of his tears. Never again will he give up on us. Never again could we become so wicked, so selfish, so violent or destructive that He would turn His wrath on us.

For although we will turn our back on the Son time and time again, never again will He turn His back on us.

Though we turn our back on Him, His mercy and faithfulness will forever be displayed in a rainbow on the darkest of days to remind us. Because we so easily forget.

No matter how bad things get, there's always hope.

He promised.

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 clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” Genesis 9:12-16