Recently my husband and I were on an airplane. During the course of our flight, the pilot flew the airplane directly through a storm cloud. And while it caused the passengers to experience some turbulence and some may have felt anxious while the rain was pelting against the windows, I did not once hear anyone yell out that our pilot made a mistake. No one suddenly decided, upon the onset of a storm, that our pilot was incapable or had somehow taken us on the wrong course. When each passenger had booked their ticket upon the aircraft, they were entrusting their personal safety and course of travel to the assumed skills of the pilot. Even in the midst of the bumps and momentary discomfort or alarm, we trusted the pilot to arrive at our destination successfully.
I was reminded of this because it has been especially stormy lately, literally and figuratively. Because we have a metal roof on our home, at times, the rain seems to reach almost deafening noise levels. On one such day this past week, the rain had been constant for the whole morning when it suddenly stopped. Completely. And the most brilliantly beautiful rainbow appeared. It was the brightest rainbow I had ever seen. Each color was clearly defined and the arch stretched across the sky. I ran to get my camera for a picture, and no sooner than I had taken the picture and found the kids to show them, it was gone and the rain had resumed. The storms of life are often like this.
Just when we think we cannot go on much longer in its intensity, God grants peace with a sign of His presence. The storm may wage on, but we are able to proceed with the knowledge that God always keeps His promises to His children.
The rainbow made its first appearance when God promised to Noah that He would never again flood the entire earth. God had required a lot of Noah. Noah’s obedience was not easy. His course was not marked with ease and leisure. We pick up the story in Genesis 6:9 as Noah receives his calling from the Lord. God makes a covenant with Noah and his family. Over the course of 100 years, all Noah has to go on is his instructions from God. The Bible records that “Noah did everything just as God commanded him” (Genesis 6:22). Through no sign of rain. Through great toil. Through mockery. Through embarrassment. Through long days. Through tired hands. Noah was faithful to God, who had first called him. The Bible makes it very clear that “the earth was corrupt in God’s sight and was full of violence” (Genesis 6:11). Noah was obedient under a harsh environment. He was living in a world where no one believed him.
Sin is not new. God is not calling us to obey in more difficult storms than He has already led His children through for a thousand generations. Your situation is not the exception of God’s ability to remain faithful. Your pain is not somehow suddenly greater than God’s deliverance. We can trust the promises of God that we receive in the Bible. We have a record. We have facts written down. In the midst of our storm, we can read of deliverance. We have signs to remember and examples to tell aloud.
Noah and his family experienced A STORM. Literally. The biggest storm ever created came upon the earth. It actively poured forth for 40 days and 40 nights, but the flood water remained for 150 days.
In our life, there is often the action of the storm itself and then the remaining effects that we still have to work through and heal from. God’s grace covers the entire process. He knows when you walk through a trial only to go into a new, yet still painful, season of recovery. Healing takes time and it is not always comfortable. It takes just as much dependence upon God as the trial itself.
That is why God provided the rainbow. A physical sign of His faithfulness. Something to hold onto when all we have are His instructions.
In the beginning of chapter 8, it says “But God remembered Noah.” In the midst of our storm, it is tempting to believe a lie that says we have been forgotten. No one, even God, knows what we are truly going through. But, we know and we see in the Bible, that God is present in the storm. He is with you and He does not forget, even for a second, what you are going through.
Noah and his family were on the ark for over one year.
God’s faithful deliverance is always in His perfect timing, but rarely according to our human schedule. His perfection is often uncomfortable when it meets our raw humanity, but it is always right.
“So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on the earth” (Genesis 9:17).
We rarely began a season with the anticipation of a storm. But through these storms, we see the hand of God. The promises He gives to us. The ways He grows us. Noah obeyed God. But, he would never had been given the opportunity of being in covenant with the Almighty God, had it not been for the storm.
“we are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not despairing; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:9).