On this day, 11 years ago, our second son was killed in a car accident.
Some time after that, our family was returning home at night after a very emotional day of dealing with matters concerning the incident.
It had been raining, but the clouds were making way for a clear evening.
The rising moon was glowing in the eastern sky as we arrived at our house.
Something strange and unusual, however, was in the western sky.
We had never seen anything like it.
I tried to photograph the scene, but it was too dark outside.
Looking past our roof, there appeared to be a rainbow.
A rainbow in the dark!
Rushing inside, I quickly went to the computer and typed in something like, “rainbows at night.”
To my surprise, it was a phenomenon that was well documented.
We were looking at a moon bow, or by another name, a lunar rainbow.
Being quite rare, none of us had ever seen one.
As far as I know, no one in our family has seen one since.
Now, I know that rainbows have a purpose…
In the Bible, we have the account of the flood that covered the earth.
When the flood was over, God spoke:
Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him: “I now establish My covenant with you and with your descendants after you and with every living creature that was with you—the birds, the livestock and all the wild animals, all those that came out of the ark with you—every living creature on earth. I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”
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. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, 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. 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.”
This account is found in Genesis 9:8-16.
I think God sent the moon bow to me and my family that night long ago.
It proclaimed God’s work of beauty in the sky in a way previously unknown to us.
At the time, I knew in my heart that this occurrence was very special.
Even now, as I think back to that evening when our hearts were hurting, I see God’s comfort in a mighty way.
Could it be that He was reminding us of a covenant He had made about our eternity?
If you have ever “lost” a child in a store or in a park, you’ve felt that sick, empty fear, wondering desperately where they were.
God promises us that whoever believes in His Son, Jesus, will live forever with Him in Heaven.
In John 11:25-26, Jesus is speaking to a woman named Martha, whose brother had just died:
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in Me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?” She said to him, “Yes, Lord; I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world.”
When we found out that our son had died, it was like a giant door weighing tons had just been shut, separating us.
In that first instant, something deep inside my heart as his mother had to cry out silently from within, wondering desperately where he was.
The answer to that cry is found in Jesus’ words above.
Our son had professed his belief in God and in Jesus many years before his death.
I still have the worn Bible that he read from every night.
The lunar rainbow?
Was it God reminding me then— and even now as I recall it— that my son was with His Son, in Heaven?
A covenant of redemption that would not be broken for those who belong to Jesus?
Our son is in Heaven, yet I remain here.
I believe that if he could talk to me now, he would want me to tell others how they could be in Heaven someday, too.
As I think of him tonight, the memories are huge in my heart.
But, I know this:
Our son is alive in Heaven.
I will see him again…