I've found myself uncomfortably close to some of the powerful storms that have recently come through our area. On a couple of occasions shortly after the tempest had passed, I've driven down roads covered by debris, along with fallen trees intruding into the lanes of traffic.
Our neighborhood was a target of one such storm, leaving my yard strewn with a few large limbs, numerous smaller twigs, and enough pine cones to fill up my wheel barrow several times over.
The following morning I surveyed the damage as I walked out to retrieve my newspaper. I was surprised to discover that instead of receiving the Rockdale edition of that publication, I had been given the neighboring county's version. When I returned to the house, I informed my wife that the previous night's storm was worse than we had realized. Apparently, it had blown us into the next county.
One of the positive notes to the rough weather, other than the needed rainfall, was the sight of a beautiful double rainbow. By the way, did you know that the colors on the second rainbow are inverted, the color which is normally on the top is on the bottom? Check it out the next time you see one.
While I'm familiar with the science behind what causes a rainbow to appear in the sky, I also keep in mind what the Bible says about its origin and purpose. It was a sign of God's promise to Noah that the earth would never again be destroyed by a universal flood.
For us, that colorful phenomenon not only assures us of the same divine covenant, but it also reminds us of other truths in the face of storms, whether it's the weather kind or other types of upheavals in our lives.
For one thing, it serves as reminder that God is here. He hasn't forsaken us or forgotten us in the midst of the storm. He knows all about our situation.
Secondly, it assures us that God is still in control. Do you recall how amazed the disciples were when Jesus calmed the wind and the waves on the Sea of Galilee? They asked, "Who can this be, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?" (Matthew 8:27).
As powerful as nature can be through such forces as lightning, tornadoes, wildfires, droughts, and floods, God is greater. And He's mightier than those other stormy situations we have to deal with in life. He can calm our seas, too.
The rainbow also reminds us that God's promises are still holding true. Whether it's the pledge not to send another great flood or any other promise He has made in His Word, we can trust its dependability today just as much as when God first said it.
Finally, the rainbow reminds us that our storms will eventually pass -- they don't continue forever. There is hope for better days and bluer skies ahead.
What storms are you facing? As the winds howl and the thunder rumbles, the rainbow may not be visible. Even in the aftermath, that sign in the sky doesn't accompany every storm.
But we can always depend on what it represents. There's a great God who sees us and loves us. No storms can blow away His promises to us.
So the next time you get to see a rainbow, in addition to being awed by the beauty of its colors, let it remind you of the faithful God who put it there. Be assured that He will see you through the storm.
The Rev. Tony W. Elder is pastor of Wesley Community Fellowship Church. He can be reached at 770-483-3405 or by email at RevTElder@aol.com.