“I set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth.” (Genesis 9:13)
I live in Washington state, where rain is the daily fare about 7-8 months a year. While the negative aspects of living under the clouds are obvious, the positive side is that we are witness to some of the most beautiful rainbows in God’s creation.
This afternoon, I dropped my daughter off at soccer practice, and went to my usual spot at Starbucks to work on my computer for an hour or so. I was sending out scads of emails to potential clients. After re-entering the workforce a little over a year ago, and deciding to build a freelance business, I am still working to build up my clientele base. It isn’t happening nearly as quickly as I’d like.
As I emerged from Starbucks to head toward my car, I was deep in prayer, asking the Lord to bless my business, all the while trying to subdue that little voice in the back of my mind that whispered, “The economy is bad, Gwenn. BAD! You’re just going to struggle.”
I pulled out of the parking lot and was met with a beautiful rainbow. As I looked closer, I realized it was a double rainbow. Our double rainbows take the form of one main rainbow, and then a second, fainter, yet distinctly separate rainbow nearby.
I cannot see a rainbow without thinking of God and His faithfulness. It is a clear indication that God is still present, still honoring His covenant promise, and still faithful to His children. And I knew at the sight of that rainbow that it doesn’t matter what the state of the economy is; God is here in visible form, just as He was there for the Israelites, night and day, in pillar of cloud and pillar of fire.
In fact, God made the rainbow to look something like Himself. Look at how Ezekiel described God in the vision he had of His divine glory:
As the appearance of the rainbow in the clouds on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the surrounding radiance. Such was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord. And when I saw it, I fell on my face and heard a voice speaking. (Ezekiel 1:28)
When we behold a rainbow, we are not only reminded of God’s faithfulness and covenant with the earth, but we are given a glimpse of God’s glory. We are given a glimpse of God Himself. He is still here among us.
God did not arbitrarily make the rainbow to look like His glory, but to show us an actual manifestation of Himself, just as He showed Himself to Moses in the burning bush, to Ezekiel on His throne with the whirring wheels, to Elijah in the fire that fell from heaven, and to Solomon in His Shekinah glory.
Those who think that God only showed up in Bibilical times are committing the same sin the Israelites committed. Even when God’s visible presence remained with them for 40 years, it became like wallpaper to them. How else would they have seen the pillars of fire and smoke, and still have created a golden calf to worship? In the same fashion, many will see the rainbow and still say that God has turned His back on the world.
God is here. In living color. You just have to know where to look for Him.