Like in many other parts of the country, over the past several months we’ve had more than our share of rainstorms and thunderstorms here in the Hampton Roads, Virginia area. Like the one we’re having right now as I’m finishing writing this. We were fortunate and extremely thankful we didn’t have the flooding and devastation that other parts of the country experienced, even though our pool is now green and almost overflowing, and our culdesac flooded for a little while.
But one thing we noticed after almost every storm was a colorful rainbow. A few nights we actually saw a double rainbow.
Technically speaking, rainbows are caused by the reflection and refraction of light in drops of water, which, scientifically, is the reason we see rainbows after rain storms, when the sky is still filled with millions of water droplets. Rainbows don’t last long because the water droplets disperse, thus making the rainbow fade away, not to return again until after the next rainstorm.
When I was growing up, like most of my friends, we always heard the old legend about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and several times we actually tried to chase the rainbow so we could grab that pot of gold! But of course, no matter how quickly we ran, we just never made it, and the rainbow faded away before we could get there, leaving the pot of gold hidden safely away until the rainbow appeared again.
Through our children’s eyes and imagination, we knew eventually, if we tried hard enough, we’d find that treasure at the end of that rainbow one day. IF we tried hard enough.
Or maybe the next rainbow would appear where we were, instead of off in the distance, and that pot of gold would be right at our feet, ready for us to grab!
While we were making our plans we’d sometimes hear the song, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” which caused us dream of flying over it, and ending up in a faraway place, a magical land we created in our imagination. A place where everything was wonderful and perfect.
That was the promise of the rainbow, the way we saw it. To us, as children, the rainbow was a hint of all kinds of good things to come in the future, because that pot of gold was waiting for us at the end. And one day we’d find it!
Today, of course, as adults, we know better. However, even though there’s no actual gold at the end of it, the rainbow is still a symbol of promise and hope for all of us. A sign the storms have passed and calmness has settled in. At least for now. There’s still cleaning up to do, because after a storm there is always some cleanup necessary.
After the great flood, Noah saw a rainbow in the sky, a reminder of the promise between the Lord and mankind. (Genesis 9:13-16) The Lord used the rainbow as a reminder of that promise, and a sign of His great love for all of us. A sign of hope, of renewal. Of better things to come.
Because no matter how bad things get, there’s always something good coming.
That first rainbow appeared after a time of great turmoil and uncertainty, and I can’t help but believe the Lord also used it to remind us that no matter how bad times can be, how rough our circumstances can be, there will always be an end to that trouble, bringing a time of peace and rest. Until the next storm.
Because life isn’t always calm and peaceful. We go through periods of calm and peace, and we go through difficult periods of turmoil and unrest…the storms of life. But like the storms we experience in nature, they don’t last forever, although at times it seems as though they will. There’s always a beautiful rainbow waiting for us at the end of each of our personal storms.
That’s a promise.