by Angie Golmon, Hernando Baptist member
I recently was thinking about an incredible experience I had. Our plans were to go to Mt. Juliet after work to pick apples at my brother’s house. However, we were met with a gully washer as we left work—rain so hard we could barely go 20 miles an hour!
“There’s no way we can pick apples in this weather,” Bob and I agreed. So we headed home.
I called Gary to tell him our change of plans. No answer. Second try, still no answer. Knowing Gary, I was afraid he had decided to pick the apples before the rain got to Mt. Juliet. If that were true, I didn’t want him to have gone to the trouble for nothing! Yet we didn’t want to be on the road in the thunderstorm. Overarching, however, was our longing for the apples more than dreading the storm, so we headed for Mt. Juliet. After all, apple butter was on our minds and the yearly ritual was about to begin.
All the way to Mt. Juliet we drove through driving rain—20 miles an hour! Suddenly as we left the storm behind us, the sky cleared and to the left of I-40 peered a small section of a rainbow through the trees. Just a portion of the bottom left side. Is there hope for more?
As we approached Mt. Juliet, suddenly there it was at Mt. Juliet Road – a full-color rainbow arching I-40, beyond the overpass. It was incredible! From one side of the interstate to the other, with the apex centered over the median, the rainbow stood anchored in the field on each side of the highway – perfectly arched and complete in color spectrum, a sign of the presence and promise of God.
Even more incredible than the full display of color arching the interstate – I could see the ends. Both ends! I shouted, “Look, Bob! You can see both ends of the rainbow!” I had never seen both ends of a rainbow—ever! (Immediately I imagined two pots of gold). You could see the trees through the deep color spectrum. If we could have left the exit and driven in the field, we could have reached out and touched it—the colors seemed just that close. Amazing! I had never seen anything like this before nor have I since. What an awesome picture was etched in my memory forever! Even now, years later, I can still see it!
Rounding the exit, we headed for Gary’s, leaving that incredible sight behind.
What if we had stayed at home? What if we had been too afraid to drive through that storm? If we had avoided the storm, we would have missed the rainbow!
Our tendency as humans is to avoid the storms life brings our way—at all costs. We want life to be easy and comfortable. We don’t like pain or suffering. We want to be free of hardship and difficulty.
But pain and suffering, hardship and difficulties are all part of life. In the midst of it all, God promises He will give us what we need and that we'll come out on the other side stronger for the struggle, basking in the blessings He has planned ahead of time for us to enjoy. He never allows more than He will give strength to bear. He provides a way through grace.
Sometimes we don’t see it God’s way. Sometimes things seem harder than we think we can bear. Sometimes we don’t respond to His grace very gracefully. We may think it is too much! We may want to give up! We can’t handle it! But if we will submit to Him, God will always provide a way for us to get through and even to grow and be stronger and better for having experienced the problem.
So when problems come—when storms seem too much to bear—remember, His overarching plan is to bless you. Blessings come as you trust God’s sovereign plan for your life. Being in His Word reinforces His promises. And it may be that you won’t see the blessing until you get through the storm and suddenly there it is—a full-color rainbow placed in the sky just for you. Or it may be the faint color of a partial rainbow revealed at just the right moment to give you encouragement to keep on keeping on trusting your life into His hands. God is still Sovereign Lord and in control of all things. And through it all, you can trust Him.
If we never experienced life’s storms, we would miss God’s rainbows.
Why do you say, O Jacob, and complain, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.
- Isaiah 40:27-31