I was praying for people I care about as I drove through Kootenay Park yesterday. Some of these dear folks are chronically ill, or depressed, or broke, or facing heart-breaking circumstances that seem to drain hope from their lives. The dark clouds and rain fit my mood. Sometimes I feel the weight of their burdens myself and I forget the Lord’s instructions to come up higher and trust Him. I had another health scare myself earlier in the week and the resulting loss of sleep was making me feel quite weak physically and emotionally.
Sometimes it seems like the same problems and the same type of people and the same situations keep showing up in our lives. Sometimes it feels like God is not taking us seriously enough.
Sometimes we miss the point of the exercise because we do not take God seriously enough.
We tend to ask for relief from suffering and, when the stress is over, forget the one who has given us so many benefits. God longs for relationship with us, and frankly we sometimes only pay attention to him when we want something instead of someone.
When I reached the summit of the pass near Radium, B.C. the rain was lighter, but there was still enough to keep my windshield wipers labouring. I decided to stop at the pull-out and walk for a bit, hiding my camera under my rain jacket – just in case the sun broke through and lit up the peaks on the other side of the valley. I thought the contrast of the snow-tipped mountains with dark ominous clouds might make a good black and white photo.
I was alone up there and I told the Lord I sure could use some encouragement. I know we walk by faith and not by sight and that it is all about relationship with Him, but I could use a hug about now.
Suddenly a rainbow began to form right in front of me. I happily snapped some photos, but it kept growing until a double rainbow I couldn’t entirely fit on my screen filled the valley. I think it was the brightest I have ever seen.
After a while passing cars stopped and folks jumped out with their cameras – but for a while I felt like the rainbow was all mine.
Then, of course I felt silly. “Ideas of reference” some people call it, when a person thinks a general event was meant specifically for her. Crazy people think like that.
So I decided that if I was going to be crazy I would do something even crazier. I asked the Lord that if this was a reminder of His promises if he would do it again.
About two hours further down the road another rainbow glowed in the sky ahead. I raced ahead to a place overlooking the valley where trees and electric lines wouldn’t block the view. It remained in the sky for quite a while and again, the colours shone in glory.
When I finally got home (11 hours after I set out in the morning) I turned the corner to see a third rainbow arching over my town. In dream symbolism the number three can represent confirmation – as “in the presence of three witnesses.”
How can I help but praise him?
I didn’t ask for three rainbows on my journey last evening, but they showed up as gifts that reminded me of the glory of the One who makes and keeps his promise to respond to us when we call out to him.
God is Good. He is relentlessly kind and loving. He is not on a budget.
And he gives great hugs.