June 25, 2008
by Katherine Peters, Crosswalk.com News & Culture Editor
"I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be
the sign of the covenant between me and the earth."
On Friday night, I saw one of the most beautiful sights I will ever see. No, I wasn't hiking in the mountains or watching the sunset. I was in a very ordinary setting actually - just driving home through downtown Richmond in rush hour traffic. The weather had developed schizophrenia and my windshield wipers were flashing at full speed even though the sun was shining. People were huddled under trees as they waited for their bus, and businessmen in suits were dashing toward their parking garages. The traffic report was not in my favor, and I resigned myself to a long drive home. That's when I saw it.
One end of a rainbow touched the end of my street, seeming completely out of place with the city skyline and blaring horns. But the rainbow was there all the same; in fact, it grew brighter, until the colors were as distinct as they are in a child's coloring book. Then a second rainbow appeared over this first one, and as I got closer I could see both ends of the rainbows. I kept snapping pictures on my cell phone, even though I knew that no camera in the world could really capture those colors. That dreary late afternoon commute changed into something that was, well, magical - or, as Noah would have said, miraculous. That very ordinary day was transformed by the visible reminder of God's promise to Noah.
The commentator matthew henry read the Genesis passage and wrote these words: "The rainbow is the reflection of the beams of the sun, which intimates that all the glory and significancy of the seals of the covenant are derived from Christ the Sun of righteousness… As God looks upon the bow, that he may remember the covenant, so should we, that we also may be ever mindful of the covenant, with faith and thankfulness."
God displayed a visible reminder of His everyday grace on Friday for anyone who looked up, reminding me of the promise He made to extend a common grace to all living things. How often do I take that promise for granted? The truth is, I nearly yelled at a driver on that same drive home after I saw the rainbows, letting a momentary panic get in the way of meditating on an eternal promise. My perspective so often slips into the ordinary, when God's daily grace is all around me. My prayer this week is that I will not lose focus, but instead, remember the rainbow. Everything else pales in comparison with the brilliance of His glory.
Intersecting Faith & Life: Rainbows appear where the circumstances are just right - where there's rain and sun. Am I letting rainy day blues crowd out the sun, like I did in responding to the driver who cut me off? Or am I letting the sun break through the ordinary clouds and circumstances? The glory of the Lord shines most brilliantly not when everything is right with the world, but when I live my daily life in remembrance of what He has done for me.