|Photo by Marwan Mohamad 2016|
Saturday, August 10, 2019
See What God Can Do!
Recently my husband and I had some unsettling news that struck us like a bolt of lightning and has been hanging over us like a heavy cloud ever since.
No one knows what tomorrow may bring, and we are not even promised tomorrow (James 4:14). But as born-again Christians (John 3:3-8) who have trusted in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:1-4) as the only Way (John 14:6) to Heaven, we do know that with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26), and without Him, we can do nothing (John 15:5).
It is tempting to try to take control, using our flesh to bring about a solution, rather than yielding to God’s perfect will, love, knowledge and power (Isaiah 26:4). Yet His grace is sufficient, and His strength is made perfect in our weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9). We must leave our burdens at the foot of His cross, for those who wait on the Lord, and His perfect timing and resolution, will have renewed strength and rise up with wings as of eagles (Isaiah 40:31).
Looking back on trials we have gone through before, it is reassuring to see how God always is faithful (1 Corinthians 1:9; 10:13), always protects and provides for us (Matthew 6:25-34), and always gives us what we need, even if it is not always what we think we want (Matthew 6:8). Not only in our own lives, but in those of our brothers and sisters in Christ, and in countless Bible examples, we can see His hand at work (Isaiah 41:10).
Sometimes all we need to have the peace that passes all understanding (Philippians 4:7) is a little reminder, like a love note or unexpected blessing as a token of our Bridegroom’s constant, unfailing love (Jeremiah 33:11). So when we first learned of this trial, part of my silent prayer to our Father was that He would show me a rainbow as a symbol of His protection and provision (Genesis 9:13-16).
We live in Florida, and it is summer, when showers often pierce sunny skies, so this is not an unreasonable request. It is hardly of the order of magnitude of Gideon asking for his fleece to be bone dry in the midst of soggy ground (Judges 6:36-39), or of Elijah pouring buckets of rain on the altar and asking God to ignite it with fire from Heaven (1 Kings 18). And I know that I can be sure of God’s love without needing a sign (Matthew 16:4), for we already know of the life-changing sign of the empty tomb!
Still, I longed for this reassurance. A full month went by, with no rainbow, even though we had been outside often as we had started a daily brisk walking program. Finally, last week while walking the beach at sunset as storm clouds were brewing overhead, I happened to look up. There was the smallest, barest sliver of rainbow light peeking through the dark cloud cover!
I showed it to my husband and shared with him that I had prayed for this sign of God’s promises, and we thanked God together for showing it to us. But God always answers prayer exceeding abundantly (Ephesians 3:20) beyond what we could ever think or imagine!
The next morning, we both awoke an hour before we had planned to get out of bed. So we stumbled downstairs to get dressed for our daily brisk walk before it rained or got too hot. I was in the next room when I heard my husband yelling my name to come right away, followed by the blaring of the house alarm! In his excitement to open the sliding doors facing the beach, he had forgotten to shut it off!
So I ran out, still grumpy from restless sleep and lack of coffee, about to chide him for his carelessness, when I saw firsthand what had caused all the fuss – the most spectacular, stunning, amazing rainbow we had ever seen! (I am not one to string superlatives together, but this sight truly defied description!)
It was a perfect half circle, parallel to the horizon, and our porch was centered right in the middle of it! It was as if God said, “Have a seat, kids, and enjoy the show, because I’ve given you the best seat in the house!”
The arch of the rainbow was thick and unbroken by clouds, even though a few fleecy clouds dotted the gray-blue sky. A silvery rain sparkled in the sky to the left of our unit, but oddly there was no rain in front of us to blur the perfect view. The colors were vibrant jewel tones of ruby, sapphire, emerald and topaz, reflecting into the robin’s egg blue waves as the ends of the rainbow reflected on and disappeared into the water. The perfect arch was exactly centered on the horizon and extended over two thirds of its length. It was as if the gateway to Heaven had opened before us!
As we sat there agape, we thought about taking a picture, but we realized that even a wide-angle lens would be far too narrow to encompass the glorious sight visible only to our eyes. Instead we were content just to bask in God’s glory (Deuteronomy 5:24), the beauty of the Master Designer’s creation (Genesis 1-2), and His faithfulness to bless us! It was time just to be still, and to know that He is God (Psalm 46:10).
As we sat in silent worship, praise and thanksgiving, a man came out onto the beach, and almost instantaneously the brilliant rainbow began to fade, disappearing completely in just a few seconds. It was as if God orchestrated this magnificent display of His greatness solely for our benefit.
If God takes the time and care to answer the small requests of His children in such a lavish way, would He not be even more faithful to provide for our greatest needs? We still have no resolution of our trial, and no knowledge of what tomorrow may bring. Yet we know that no harm can touch us that He does not allow to accomplish His perfect plan for our life (Job 1:9-10), and we trust Him to work all things together for our good and His glory (Romans 8:28).
Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
© 2019 Laurie Collett