Soft pink -
Heavy billowing clouds roll by early as the tide goes out to sea-
From the east a great light begins to warm the waters
and the clouds split into as though they are curtains - opening to display the stage of heaven-
From behind the curtain, an arc of radiant colors appear - proclaiming more than a promise to never flood the earth again -
but a promise of God’s forever presence,
God’s forever peace,
And God’s forever beauty.
As the sun begins to come over the horizon,
only hints of that arc now remain-
One round spot, in fact!
A circle of His ever-being and never ending forgiveness-
Now as I gaze into that same sky, only a memory lingers.
A picture of God’s creation and His communication is
forever branded/burned in my minds eye -
I wonder how often Noah reflected on the arc he saw in the sky the day the rains subsided, the sun appeared, and the refreshing breezes blowed?
~ S. Barron
We all face seasons that are not our favorite; seasons of life for instance. It's our attitude and perspective that can help us "make it through" or "sink us deeper." Thus, thoughts of Noah! Noah was a righteous man. And and did everything as the Lord commanded him. Noah also found favor in the eyes of the Lord.
When we are listening and obeying the voice of God, we are like Noah, doing everything He commands. If we are born again and have become sons and daughters of God, we are righteous (in right standing with God only because of the shed blood of Jesus Christ who made atonement for our sin.) God also finds favor with us and has made covenants with us too. So we, as believers, are much like Noah!
Genesis 9: 12 - 16 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: 13 I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. 16 Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
Sometimes I get "caught up" in the floods of life and feel like I will surely drown. That's when I look up, change my attitude, and try to see things from God's perspective, that special Holy lens. It's a rainbow full of God's promises!
So I give thanks. Yes, in joy and in tribulation, thankfulness is key. I remember that He sees the bigger picture. It's not an easy process, but one that I am forever learning.
I've been reading Ann Voskamp's book, One Thousand Gifts given to me by my sweet friend. I'd like to share a few portions of chapter 5 with you.
"...there is only one way to live full and it is "by every word that comes from the mouth of God"...It is all that Jesus used to survive in the desert...it's the Word of God ...that fills our emptiness with the true and real good, that makes the eyes see, the body full of light."
"All new life labors out of the very bowels of darkness. That fullest life itself dawns from nothing but Calvary darkness and tomb-cave black into the radiance of Easter morning. Out of the darkness of the cross, the world transfigures into new life. And there is no other way. Then...yes: It is dark suffering's umbilical cord that alone can untether new life. It is suffering that has the realest possibility to bear down and deliver grace. And grace that chooses to bear the cross of suffering overcomes that suffering. My pain, my dark - all the world's pain, all the word's dark - it might actually taste sweet to the tongue, be the genesis of new life? Yes. And emptiness itself can birth the fullness of grace because in the emptiness we have the opportunity to turn to God, the only begetter of grace, and there find all the fullness of joy. So God transfigures all the world? Darkness transfigures into light, bad transfigures into good, grief transfigures into grace, empty transfigures into full. God wastes nothing - "makes everything work out according to his plan"
I think when Noah made his exit from the ark, all was made new again! His "darkness was transfigured into light." His season had finally come to an end and with that end, a promise. God's Word is full of promises. They are for you!
Look up and see that rainbow. Let it forever be a reminder of God's exceedingly great and precious promises.
2 Peter 1: 4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6 and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7 and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. 8 For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 10 Therefore, my brothers and sisters,[a] make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, 11 and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Interesting that today I read the wrong day of Jesus Calling. Here are a few words. Be blessed.
" MAKE FRIENDS WITH THE PROBLEMS IN YOUR LIFE. Though many things feel random and wrong, remember that I am sovereign over everything. I can fit everything into a pattern for good, but only to the extent that you trust Me. Every problem can teach you something, transforming you little by little into the masterpiece I created you to be...The best way to befriend your problems is to thank Me for them...I will not necessarily remove your problems, but My wisdom is sufficient to bring good out of every one of them. Rom. 8:28; 1 Corin. 1:23-24
Look up... where you once saw that rainbow of hope and promise. The rains WILL subside, the sun WILL shine again, and the refreshing breezes WILL blow once again! Seek out the many promises in God's Word. They are there, waiting for you to claim! Remember the times God's promises gave you new strength, encouraged you, and sustained you. By the way, I just checked the weather...it's sunny and will be 74 degrees today! Thank you Lord.
One Thousand Gifts, A. Voskamp. Zondervan 2010.
Jesus Calling, S. Young. Thomas Nelson 2004.
In Touch Ministries, C. Stanley. intouch.org