Genesis 9:13-15 “I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.” NIV
When life changing events occur, you find yourself facing many new emotions. There is a fear of the future, pain from the loss, and an uncertainty when new choices are placed in front of you. There is an urgent need to fix the broken, whether it’s your brokenness or someone else’s. You often feel the call of God’s words when He tells us “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing right.” James 2:8 NIV
When I was in Hershey, PA recently, there were horrific floods in the area I was staying. A creek near our convention center with a flood stage of 7 feet crested at 28 feet. Houses, businesses, and lives were lost during this most difficult time. I was uncertain as to my safety on several different occasions. Yet, each time I prayed, I knew I was where I needed to be. I listened, I watched, and I learned many things.
The house under water and the house with the cars in front of it are the same house. A during and after picture if you will. Because the event I was attending was just to the side of this creek, I was able to watch the flooding unfold. I saw the sadness of people as they watched their life’s possessions wash away. I watched people pray together for the safety of those in the path of these floods. More than anything I saw the grace of God in the form of those who came to help in the aftermath.
Yet what struck me the most was that ,when the water’s receded and the rainbows came out to dance across the sky, friends, neighbors and strangers descended upon these areas to help in the cleanup and recovery. While the destruction was widespread, the love of people for their neighbors was even more immense than any damage that nature had done. There were cars lined up along the roadside with people unloading supplies and cleaning tools.
I was reminded while reading during that weekend that God gave us a visual reminder of His promise not to take life from the earth again by flood. He gave us the rainbow as a sign of His covenant. Truly, I don’t think He meant just flooding in the literal sense. The flood of joblessness, the flood of homelessness, the flood of tears, the flood of fear, the flood of sin that sometimes overcomes us. All of these things are floods that can wipe away our sense of security. But even if we lose everything we hold dear, we can never lose what He has promised us. Life with Him, Love from Him, Forgiveness from Him, Eternity with Him.
As I saw the rainbow over the dry and fireswept area of Texas, it struck me that many of us are deep in the midst of a flood of some sort, myself included. We must have faith in God’s rainbows. After every storm, after every flood, after every change of the landscape He will send family, friends, neighbors and strangers to help us pick up the pieces of our lives. Their love for us is our rainbow, our covenant, our promise from our God.