A couple weeks ago I was driving to work one morning and as I made a left hand turn, I was treated with a spectacular rainbow display. It was what I call a “full” rainbow, which is my personal terminology for the one where you have the pleasure of seeing the whole arc with both sides disappearing down into the earth somewhere far off in the distance. It was a winter treat.
This particular rainbow was so clear and beautiful that I found tears in my eyes. Being raised a Christian, the sight of a rainbow always comes with such promise. No matter what denomination we were raised in, most of us can attest to one of the earlier Bible stories and verses we were taught, “…I do set my bow in the cloud.” (Gen 9:13)
This time, as I drove forward ever enjoying the scene before me, a question popped into my mind. What makes the bow shape? I wondered if there was a scientific explanation to the bow. Why wasn’t it just a straight line across the sky? Or a straight line coming down out of the sky?
So this morning I set about to discover the mystery of the bow. There is an explanation. It involves words like this: wavelength, bend, angle, droplets, Roy G Biv, reflection and refraction. Now I feel certain I was probably taught all of this decades ago in an Earth Science class in high school. I simply needed a refresher course!
But what I found during my brush up on science this morning were two pieces of information that I won’t forget and that will ever excite me when I see a rainbow. First is the fact that it isn’t just the arch that we see in the sky, it is a full circle. I wasn’t seeing a full rainbow after all. We can’t see the full circle only because the Earth gets in our way and blocks the view as we look forward.
The second piece of information I will include as a quote from Donald Ahrens in Meteorology Today: “…one of the best ways to view a rainbow at it’s utmost beauty is when half of the sky is still dark with clouds”
Oh, how I love this about God! Not only the literal, but the symbolic promises He wrapped up for us in the “bow in the clouds.” So often I feel that I am being flooded with trials and situations that threaten to overwhelm me. I doubt that it is a stretch for any reader of this thought to imagine being at that same place. If you are walking this Earth in 2015, then you are either in a flood of concern, fresh out of your latest flood, or looking toward a flood in the future. This is our reality today.
And yet here is your Father, saying to you, “Yes, the sky is dark with clouds, the burden is threatening to overwhelm and drown you. But I want you to look up through the darkness because that is when you see Me the best–I’ve got you encircled in My rainbow of love and it’s a promise I will forever keep with you!”
Go ahead and picture it today. You, inside the circle of God’s rainbow. And be blessed.
For His Glory,