Rainbows Require Rain

And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh.
Genesis 9:12‭-‬15 ESV

The rainbow. We often call it God’s Promise. For God used the rainbow to promise Noah He’d never flood the earth again–He used the rainbow as a sign of His faithfulness. And from the young child to the one advanced in years, the sight of a rainbow is always uplifting and exciting. Whether we are in the car, at work, or at home, we tend to pause and gaze in wonder when we see a rainbow in the sky.

Yet recently as I read a selection about rainbows in the Abeka reader Adventures in Nature, God reminded me there is much more to the rainbow than meets the eye. Here is an excerpt from the selection:

…A rainbow is caused by the effect of sun shining on rain.  When the sun peeks out from between the clouds after a shower, the rainbow appears in the sky opposite the sun…the drop of water acts as a tiny prism….If there are enough raindrops for prisms, we see a gorgeous rainbow!…Raindrops must be large for a large and brilliant rainbow.  The larger the raindrops, the more brilliant the rainbow.

So what causes a rainbow to appear? Well, first, the rain must come.  No rain; no rainbow.  Second, the sun must shine on that rain.  Rainbows do not appear where there is no sun.  Third, it is the rain that acts as the reflector.   The rays of the sun are always shining, but it takes the raindrops to reflect and to refract that light to form the rainbow.  And finally, the bigger the raindrop, the bigger the rainbow.  A light rain reveals a light rainbow; a heavy rain deepens and intensifies the rainbow.

Now let’s apply that to life.  Do you want to see a rainbow–a rainbow with deep, brilliant hues that causes others to pause in awe?  Well, first, you need two things:  the sun and the rain.  The sun is God–His presence, His Word, His power, His salvation.  God is light, and in Him is no darkness.  Then there is the rain–the struggles, the storms, the temptations of this life.  Now I’m sure if we were honest, we would admit it is the rain we do not like.  Oh how wonderful life would be if we could find a way to have a rainbow without the rain–to have the promise without the precipitation!

But that is not possible.  Rain is necessary. Clouds are necessary. Rainbows don’t appear when all is sunny; they appear with the rain.

Yet there’s more to rainbows than just sun and rain. And it also applies to our lives. First of all, we don’t see rainbows when the rain is completely gone. Often there are still clouds and still sprinkles. Sometimes it’s still raining where we are but the sun in the distance provides the promise that it will be ending soon. So with our lives–the storms may not be completely over at the sight of God’s promise.  But God’s promise  is that it will end soon; God’s promise is that no storm will last forever. The sun will shine; the rainbow will appear. And when the rainbow is gone, it’s because the sun fully shines again. So also the storm you are in is not forever; the sun will shine fully again.

Another applicable aspect of rainbows are the raindrops. Raindrops are the prisms.   It’s not the sun that reflects itself; it’s the rain that reflects the sun.  No rain; no rainbow.  Lots of rain; a large rainbow.   Big raindrops; a brilliant rainbow.  The greater the storm, the more amazing the rainbow will appear afterwards. And so it is with our lives. When the rain begins to pour, we must allow the raindrops to reflect the Son. We must remember that the bigger the drops pelting us, the greater His glory in the end. God can and will use the worst storms of your life to produce the most brilliant rainbows.

If you let Him shine.

God is the light. And He wants to shine on the raindrops in your life. He not only wants to shine on them; He wants to shine through them. He wants to reveal the rainbow–the picture of His promise to never let you go.

I am not sure where you are today. You may be glancing up at blue skies and enjoying the full heat of the sun upon your face. Or you may be looking out the window, waiting for the storm to pass–seeking and searching for the Sun–trying to find the any sign of a rainbow. Regardless of where you are today, you can find hope in the promise of the rainbow. You can know just as the sun is always shining even when the clouds block our view, God is always shining even when the storms of life seem to block our view. As the rain pours down, you can know and trust that God’s light is just on the other side of those clouds. You can know and trust God’s light will soon break through those clouds and produce the most glorious rainbow that you and those around you have ever seen.

God never ceases to shine, my friend. And the rain does not last forever. So remember today that if you never saw a storm, you would never see a rainbow. So look up. Look for the Sun. Face the rain. And as you do you will soon see God’s light shining on that storm, reflecting through the raindrops, and producing the most glorious rainbow of God’s faithfulness.

Yes, the rain will come. But take heart, rainbows require rain.



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