With a Gift

I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.

—John 14:27

This afternoon at work, someone noticed a cloud with a “rainbow” inside it. 

Since I happened to have my phone with me, I took a quick picture of the colourful beauty displayed in the sky. What I witnessed today is commonly called a fire rainbow. 

The rainbow, of course, reminds us of God’s promise to us after the great flood. 

Rainbows also remind me of all God’s promises—that they are true. 

Jesus has given us a gift–the gift of peace of mind and heart. 

We are not to be troubled and afraid. 

The Sign of the Covenant

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…

sign-covenant

Like an Emerald

What will Heaven be like?

I think it will be so different from anything we can imagine.

God allows us to see a glimpse of what it will be like as it is described in the book of Revelation.

We can envision an emerald rainbow glowing around the throne of God with flashes of lightning and the rumble of thunder.

Can you picture in your mind what it would be like to stand in the presence of God in Heaven?

~~

 

 

 

 

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.

—Revelation 4:1-6a

 

rainbow

Showers of Blessing

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I will send down

showers in season;

there will be

showers of blessing.

—from Ezekiel 34:26

God gives a message to the Israelites in the book of Ezekiel in chapter 34.

Part of this message mentions “showers of blessing.”

My husband and I went to a nearby city to take care of some details for a family member who has been in the hospital for a few weeks.

Arriving at our destination, I got out of my car, even as it was lightly raining, to get a few photographs of a glorious rainbow that had appeared. My husband had gone inside the building.

After returning to the car and making a couple of phone calls, we found out that our family member may be well enough to come home in just a couple of days!

Showers of water were falling on us in the parking lot.

Showers of blessing were falling, too….

*

Click image to enlarge.

showers final

Everlasting

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Answered prayer.

How could I possibly describe what it feels like to see God work?

People experience answers to prayer all the time—–

When they pray for funds and an unexpected check comes in the mail.

When they pray for healing and the tests come back negative.

When they pray for a marriage and the divorce is cancelled.

When they pray for the salvation of someone they know and that person comes to know the Lord as their Savior.

I could try to describe it.

There’s a feeling of gratitude that bubbles forth from deep within.

Praise rises from your thoughts to your lips.

A testimony of God’s goodness can hardly be contained.

Several weeks ago, my heart was heavy concerning those I was praying for.

I told God that I needed a miracle.

I was praying this prayer with my head covered with a towel, because it had just started raining as I was sitting in a chair at the beach.

When I uncovered my head, a beautiful rainbow had appeared above the ocean in front of me.

I thanked God for showing me a rainbow, and I felt that in His time, there would be a miracle concerning my request.

In the past several days, miraculous occurrences have been taking place in the realm of that request.

I have been thanking God for His work.

Praise and gratitude fill my heart.

Yesterday, I was driving to a Bible study, or so I thought.

As I drove, I saw a rainbow. I stopped to photograph it.

Within minutes, it was gone.

As I drove on further, I saw an incredible site.

A rainbow-like patch had appeared by a cloud.

I had been thinking about how I could see God working in one person’s life that I had prayed for, but I was still hoping for miracles in the other person’s life.

As I watched the rainbow patch, a dark cloud began to cover it.

I could tell that the bands of glorious color were still there, even though the dark cloud was beginning to hide it from view.

I believe that God is going to answer my prayer from that day on the beach for BOTH the people that were on my heart.

Just because I can’t see a rainbow, it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Just because I may not see God working in someone’s life, it doesn’t mean that He isn’t.

As I pulled up to the home where I was to attend the Bible study, there were no cars in the driveway.

Checking the message I had received about it, I realized that I had come on the wrong day.

If I had not gone out to go to the Bible study, I might never have seen the rainbow patch and the dark clouds that floated past.

God wanted me to see it, I believe, to encourage me.

To remind me of His message to me that day at the beach.

His brilliant arc of blazing light in the sky as I uncovered my head.

God is with us, you and me.

He hears our prayers.

He knows our hearts.

He loves us with an everlasting love.

But from everlasting to everlasting
    the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
    and his righteousness with their children’s children—
with those who keep his covenant
    and remember to obey his precepts.

Psalm 103:17-18

Click image to enlarge.

everlasting

The Covenant

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The rainbow was so dazzling, I just had to stop, get out of the car and photograph it.

The sun was going down and the radiant glow of colors was magnificent.

When God makes a promise, He never breaks it.

After the waters of the great flood had receded, God spoke to Noah and his sons, giving them instructions.

As He spoke with them, He told them of a covenant.

A covenant with humans and also with living creatures on the 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.”

 So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth.”

–Genesis 9:11-17

 

Any promise of God to us will never be changed.

He is faithful.

He is trustworthy.

Will God always forgive those who choose to believe in Him and His Son, Jesus, when they call to Him in repentance and faith?

Will He really never leave us or forsake us?

Is there really nothing that can separate us from His love?

These truths are like promises in the Bible.

If we are feeling doubt or becoming fearful, we can remember that God always keeps a promise— especially when we see the rainbow He sets in the sky.

 

Click image to enlarge.

and the earth final