I was finishing up my early morning routine a few days ago when I realized that I had not opened the blinds yet, and so I stood up to remedy the situation. I opened the kitchen blinds and saw some dark clouds that perhaps promised rain off to the west, the direction our windows face. But more striking than the rain clouds was the beautiful rainbow that was draped across the sky. I grabbed my camera and headed outside to both enjoy the rare sight of a rainbow and to hopefully capture some of its color and beauty on film. What a treat it was to walk around the back yard and take in the views of this long-lasting, bright rainbow! There was actually a double rainbow, but the primary rainbow was by far the most stunning. Later when I checked Facebook, I saw that many other people across the area saw the rainbow and were impressed by its beauty. There were many written oohs and aahs from different friends who appreciated the unexpected sight that God gifted us with that morning.
A rainbow is both a refraction and a reflection of light as it bounces off water droplets in the sky. I’m not greatly scientific so I’ll leave the explanation at that. I just enjoy the symmetry and beauty of a rainbow, and revel in the promise of which it is a reminder. God promised in Genesis to send His bow in the cloud as a symbol of His covenant to never destroy the earth with a flood again. As He often does, though, God used that rainbow the next day to remind me of a precious spiritual principle.
My life is continually a reflection in so many areas. When I am sleepy or tired, my eyes often reflect that fact by not being alert or bright. My leg is reflecting a bruise today from stumbling over the garden fence last night. My toes reflect the fact that I’m about to need a new pedicure. Some of my floors are reflecting the fact that I need to vacuum. Our drooping garden is reflecting the effects of these very hot, late August days. My bathroom scales are reflecting……..well, never mind about that. On the morning after I saw the rainbow, I was reading Colossians 1. Verse 2, like so many other of Paul’s epistles, has Paul saying, “Grace to you and peace from God our Father.” I tend to read over this opening without even thinking because it’s so common. Yawn, yawn – let’s hurry on to the good stuff.
But on this morning I looked up “grace” in the concordance and here is one part of the meaning of this Greek word: “The divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life.” So one aspect of grace is that I allow God’s influence to fill my heart and reflect in my life. God is a God of grace to even want to allow me such a privilege! And am I reflecting Him in my life? It’s interesting that the word after “grace” in all of Paul’s writings is the word “peace.” This word “peace” means: “Prosperity as far as having quietness and rest.” When I am reflecting outwardly God’s influence in my heart inwardly, I will then exhibit a life of quietness and rest. Grace and peace.
Hmmmm – I better quit yawning and wake up! How many times do I struggle under the storm clouds of life? When I’m struggling, grasping for understanding and answers that may or may not come, I’m certainly not a beautiful reflection of God’s grace at work in my heart. His influence is not reflected in my life at all. People around me only see the dark clouds and the rain. However, as soon as I allow God’s influence to fill my heart, my struggles and doubts will cease. A colorful rainbow of quietness and rest will replace the clamoring and strife. A rainbow that reflects God’s influence and His joy, for His glory and my peace. And hopefully others around me will be impressed, not with my struggles, but with the God of grace that I serve!