Wednesday, December 29

A Beautiful Reminder

And God said, "This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth." --Genesis 9:12-13

It's one thing to suffer at the hands of another human being, but it is quite another to be a victim of a natural disaster. When I hear reports on the radio of the crimes people commit against helpless innocents, I feel justifiably enraged. However, I really don't quite know what to do with the feelings I have when I hear the latest tally of the dead bodies in Sumatra that have resulted from the recent devastating tsunami. The aftermath of "acts of God" leaves many wondering where God is during such times.

I was pondering that very thing on my morning commute. The noise from heavy rainfall had awakened me intermittently throughout the night. Consequently, my disposition was something less than sunny. I started praying, asking God to lift my exhausting and headache just enough for me to be productive at work, and while he was at it, could he please give me a sense of peace even though things are happening in the world that I don't understand.

As I rounded the last curve of Mira Mesa Boulevard onto Sorrento Valley road, God presented me with a beautiful reminder of an ancient promise. Stretching before me was a rainbow. I smiled to myself, content to know that for me and countless other Christians, a rainbow has an even deeper significance than just being a lovely aspect of earth and atmospheric sciences.

Thousands of years ago, a natural disaster wiped out nearly every creature on earth. The Great Flood was God's way of punishing man, with whom he was displeased. Noah and his family were the only ones at the time who were living a life obedient to God. Because of their faithfulness, Noah and his family were spared. When the flood waters receded, God promised Noah that he would never again destroy the world with a flood. God placed his rainbow in the sky as a beautiful physical reminder of the covenant that was made.

I don't know if the natural disasters taking place around the world today are part of God's judgment for mankind's disobedience, or if there is some other reason for the tremendous loss of life that occurs with such events. I do know that God is in control, and I find comfort in the knowledge that God has promised us eternal life that is free from the suffering we face here on earth. If he makes the rainbows appear even among the clouds of a turbulent storm, how much more so will he be able to create something beautiful out of the disasters we encounter in every day life?

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