“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.”
Work comes with perks at times. Like conferences at the beach. I’ll take those any week. This is exactly where I found myself this past October except there wasn’t beautiful water, seagulls and sunshine when I arrived. I found torrential downpours and winds that made you lose your balance. All the conference goers weathered the storm and awoke to much calmer conditions on day two. The skies became clear and winds died down as the day wore on allowing time for a long walk on the beach before supper. I wasn’t missing what might be my only chance to feel the waves hit my feet and enjoy being in God’s creation. So, I hurried off on what I hoped to be a peaceful long walk but as I stepped off the boardwalk I could see another storm rolling in from a distance. As I walked along the beach that day I enjoyed talking with God and His presence. I tried to take it all in: the smell of the ocean, the sand between my toes, the birds in the wind. I looked down observing all the tiny grains of sand and I felt God prompting me to look up. I lifted my head and right in front of me was a rainbow that looked like it came straight out of the Emerald City of Oz. I have not seen another one more breathtaking. The way the sun gleamed on its colors made it stand out like a painting. It had not been there a moment before, but was there now. I took several pictures and watched as many other beach comers stopped to enjoy the view. Then I looked back remembering the approaching storm. Behind me black clouds were moving in quickly. I stood there in the middle of a dark storm approaching and a stunning display of God. I had a meeting with God that day on the beach.
In Genesis, God sent his rainbow as a sign of a promise he made with his people. So we will see and remember that God is faithful.
“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23 NIV
One of my dear friends in college loved rainbows. She would find them everywhere in magazines, on clothing, in children’s books, etc… These symbols were important to her. She and the ladies in her family had a tradition, when they found rainbows they would call or text the other with a report or a picture that they found a rainbow. She told me how they did this and it always brought them much joy. She also had said the sharing of rainbows was very timely and came when there seemed to be trouble on the horizon or anxiety looming about a situation. What a great tradition to start with your family. To always be in search of God’s promises not just for yourself, but also those closest to you. These women have their hearts always set on God’s goodness and his promises. I never forgot this and rarely see a rainbow without thinking not only of God’s promises, but of them too.
Back to the beach and the oncoming storm. God used this scene to speak straight to my heart. I had a choice. I could choose to look at the storms and the darkness or I could choose to look at promise and hope. Whatever you face I hope you choose to look at hope. I hope you let God’s light fill you and shine through you.
That’s much easier than it sounds sometimes, but there is a scripture that God used to pierce my heart and add color to my rainbow. To increase my faith. It truly changed how I look at this life.
“Come now, let us settle the matter,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the good things of the land.” Isaiah 1: 18-19 NIV
I’ve heard this before on Sundays, “Settle in your heart what you are going to believe.” I never really grasped the meaning until Isaiah’s words were read out loud at my church’s Freedom conference. I knew God was speaking to me. “Settle the matter, Amanda.” I’ve had quite a few matters I’ve had to settle since that time. Matters I never thought I would have to face in my life but just these few words have helped me not to fear an approaching storm or be tossed about (too much) in life’s chaos. Settling the matter reminded me to run to Jesus when storms threatened and to remember His promises. Trusting in God and believing His word anchored my soul. Settling the matter shifts our focus from the storm to the One who stilled the storm to a whisper.
“Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.” Psalm 107:28-30 NIV
What is your matter? The storm that is approaching or that thing that throws you off course? We all come to God with something. Am I going to blame God for my hardships or am I going to believe the Word he gave me and know He is working on my behalf? Am I going to pull away from God when times get tough or press in? Am I going to worship when I don’t want to or can’t lift my hands or praise God because He’s good even if my circumstances aren’t? Am I going to listen to what the world says about me or listen to the God that created me? Please know I’ve done every single one of these things. I’ve struggled, questioned God, I’ve even tried to reason and bargain with God. But friends, those things have just caused more pain and anxiety.
Settle the matter today and never stop searching for the Creator of rainbows. My prayer for everyone reading this is that you choose to be brave, run to God, and believe His promises. And when you run to God, sit at His feet a little while and anchor your souls in hope.
“We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure…” Hebrews 6:19 NIV
“Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
This I declare about the Lord: He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; he is my God, and I trust him.
For he will rescue you from every trap and protect you from deadly disease. He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.” Psalm 91:1-4 NLT
You are so good. Thank you for your unfailing love and promises you have given us. Thank you for your creation and for the signs of your promises. Forgive our hearts and minds for ever doubting or running. I pray that we would draw near to you always and in turn you promise to draw near to us. God I pray that for every person reading this you would let them know in a special way you love them this week. Help us to settle any matters on our hearts and I pray you would send a rainbow, a sign of your promises to us. Let us never stop searching for you. Now to the God who is able to do immeasurably more to you be all praise, glory, and honor.
Amanda Waller is a small town girl who loves Jesus and has never met a stranger. Her deepest desire is to be like Mary in Luke 10:41-42, “…you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Her daily aspiration is to spend time at the feet of Jesus and be a woman marked by His presence. Amanda’s heart is for the hurting, families, and God’s church. She is the mommy to a beautiful kindergartner who is full of life and joy. Professionally, Amanda is the director of a nonprofit family resource center dedicated to strengthening and empowering families. She longs to make an eternal impact and being a part of Craving God Ministries is a way she hopes to encourage the discouraged and give hope to the hopeless.