Across the country people are putting rainbows in windows, children are drawing them on paper, making collages, making pavement chalk pictures etc. We are associating rainbows with keeping safe, with hope, they are being used to spread a little happiness. I’m certainly finding myself smiling as I go out for my daily exercise when I see a rainbow in someone’s window as I walk past.
The rainbow always makes me think of Noah, it is the symbol of Gods promise to him and his family that never again will the floodwaters cover the earth and destroy all life (Genesis 9:12-16). God chose a visual reminder of this promise that can be seen today and by all past and futures generation, it’s not a symbol that you can only see in certain places it can be seen everywhere and by anyone.
On my walk today as my mind wandered I ended up thinking about the story of Noah, he wasn’t asked by God to stay home, but rather to build and fill the ark with his family and pairs of animals, they were to live in the ark, not just for the 40 days of actual rain, but for those 40 days and the time it took for the water levels to recede to allow them to go back to the normality of life. Like us they experienced “normality” being overturned, movement curtailed, everyday routines being drastically changed. Life on the ark isn’t the end of the story, they came through the experience, God didn’t lose sight of them or his plans for them, and they were eventually able to leave the ark and go back to living on the dry land. It is at this stage we have the covenant between God, Noah and his sons, the visual reminder of the rainbow.
When I see a rainbow, as well as smiling I find myself thinking about Gods promises for us his children, for being aware of God being with us in the challenges we are facing, be that isolation, loneliness, fear or of being overwhelmed. I am prompted to turn to him in prayer, to bring to him the fears, the hopes, to give thanks for all those working in the frontline, for the moments of joy and for healing as our world seems to have been turned upside down.