Saturday, August 10, 2019

See What God Can Do!

Photo by Marwan Mohamad 2016

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



Aritha said...

O thank you Laurie. What nice. Yes, He is trustworthy. He is faithful to provide for our greatest needs. His name is Immanuël. He is with us in trials, He cares, He watches over us.

Frank E. Blasi said...

Dear Laurie,
Before I married, I used to live in a bachelor's pad on the top floor of a three-storey building. As the main balcony window overlooked a school playing field, it looked out to quite a wide panorama.
One particular showery day a rainbow was on display as if my apartment was bang in the centre of the theatre. It was quite a dramatic display.
Then I remembered its origin and I began to recite Genesis 9:12-17, and remembering the covenant God made with all the living on the earth, especially to us. Then I thanked the Lord for his enduring goodness and his faithfulness in his promise never to send another global deluge.
Unfortunately, this is the sort of praise delivered on my own (or now with my wife) as the average man in the street here in the UK would laugh and scoff, telling me to grow up. For to him, the rainbow is nothing more than light diffused as it passes through the raindrops. He then will "prove" this to me by pointing out that there is a permanent rainbow whenever the sun shines at the Niagara Falls, and if seen from an airplane, the "bow" is actually the upper side of a full circle.
No threat to my faith, though! If God wishes to use a simple scientific technique to demonstrate his glory, who are we to think otherwise?
An excellent blog, God bless.

Laurie Collett said...

Thank you, Aritha for your uplifting comment. Amen, He is faithful, true, and loves us infinitely. May we cling to Him!
God bless,

Laurie Collett said...

Dear Frank,
God speaks to mankind through His creation as well as through His Word, but so many are blind to see and hear. Not only is God's handiwork amazing, but so are the physical laws underlying it, like the full spectrum of visible light we see when a prism diffracts white light into its component frequencies. All of music boils down to seven notes and their corresponding sound frequencies, but we don't belittle the master composer because his building blocks are so simple. Nor should we belittle God for the mathematical precision underlying sound, light, and all His creation and physical laws.
Thanks as always for your testimony and Scripture support. God bless,

Donald Fishgrab said...

Great post, Laurie.

God put the rainbow in the clouds as a reminder to himself and mankind that he will never again destroy the earth with a flood. That it appears every time as a result of light shining through droplets of water just shows how powerful he is and how sincere he is about his promise. Praise God he uses even such things to reveal his love toward us.

Laurie Collett said...

Thanks, Donald! Praise God for His constancy and His faithfulness -- He cannot change and He will never lie. His creation speaks of His infinite love, power and wisdom.
God bless,

Tanza Erlambang said...

yes, God is trustworthy...
thank you for sharing your it

Laurie Collett said...

Thank you, Tanza! God bless you.

Victor S E Moubarak said...

Trust in God.

God bless.

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
I love rainbows and I believe that sometimes God uses certain things as signs to accompany His Word to us. The rainbow can be used as sign to reassure us that His promises to us will be accomplished. I have had proof in my life that what man can not do God can do, and have been strengthened many times by His Word to me. My friend and I were praying about something regarding her situation and I knew she was feeling a bit negative regarding her trust in the Lord in the situation. As I began to pray for her situation the word 'FAITH' came up on the screen saver on my computer. We were both overjoyed and prayed accordingly.
God bless you in your situation Laurie.

Laurie Collett said...

Amen! God bless you too.

Laurie Collett said...

Hi Brenda,
What a lovely testimony! My husband and had a similar experience walking through a mall, with many words and phrases and symbols appearing that seemed to be encouragement from the Lord when we needed it most.
Praise the Lord for giving us what we need, when we need it.
Thank you for your uplifting comment. God bless you,

EMMANUEL said...

i just love sunsets by the ocean or sea they just explain a lot about GODS sovereignty and awesomeness