Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning. Psalm 30:5, NLT
I had started the morning kind of down, and my gratitude list looked like this:
Not the typical list of small, praise-worthy items I listed each morning during my moments of quiet and solitude. Just that first item to start.
It’s not that I wasn’t grateful. I had taken on too much. It’s one of those things I have been learning about myself-that I don’t say “no,” usually due to an effort to keep people in my good graces. Then after I say “yes,” I can find myself frazzled, overbooked, and overwhelmed. I am working on that. The saying “no” thing. Setting boundaries.
But because I hadn’t, and I was in this state of anxiety and unease, I was also consumed by thoughts. Some that were destructive and self-defeating in nature. Had me believing (inappropriately, of course) that beauty is an illusion.
That evening we took our Saturday trek out to dinner, and to grab a few items on the back to school list. On the ride I looked up. In the sky was a rainbow. Filling the entire sky. One in which all the colors shown brightly.
That morning, I could only think of one thing to list. One thing I forced myself to add…one thing the devil had used the previous week to beat me up with (“If you were doing so great, huh?? Your kids would be baptized”)…yes that’s what he does. He’s pretty awful.
And that evening I was given a much needed reminder that God was one who kept promises.
I didn’t snap a picture. I just watched the rainbow as we drove. Watched as the dark storm cloud tried to overtake its brightness, and the tail end of it become brighter. As the storm began anyway, and the rainbow faded, I was reminded of something a dear friend once said: “you are either going into a storm or coming out of one.”
And yes. We are. Whether we are willing to be honest or not.
Whether in our minds, or hearts. Whether we are battling voices of the world, or Satan
Whether the storms rage in our homes, at work, or in our bodies.
We are going to be going into one, at any given time.
And come out of it, too.
We went into two or three storms that night, and each time we were left with a beautiful rainbow.
I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth. When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life. Genesis 9:13-15
Each time the storm came and the clouds took away the beauty that had adorned the sky, the rain would subside, and another rainbow would appear. We drove further, and another shower would start, the rainbow would fade, and as we sat in the parking lot, eating our meal-we looked over after the last storm and noticed right next to us was the biggest one we had seen that night.
Storms come and they go. They are a part of the life we will have here on earth, and some are scary; while some come and go as quickly as they began. Some bring few problems, while others bring many-destruction, chaos, and pain. But through every storm, even if you can’t see it, God is there. Helping you get through it, and waiting on the other side with joy and bright promises for your future. And equipping you to get ready for the next one. Because there will be another. But this time, we know what beauty waits for us after the storm.