Remember the story of Noah in the Bible? God flooded the entire earth for 40 days and nights, but He found Noah to be a righteous man and allowed him to prepare for him and his family to be saved. When it was all said and done, God sent a glorious sign— a beautiful rainbow to represent His promise to never flood the entire earth again. I know that in today’s culture, the rainbow can represent many ungodly things, but first and foremost to me, the rainbow will always be a representation of God’s promise.
Yesterday, my story was a little backwards from Noah’s. It was early morning and I was driving my girls to school. It was bright and sunny and there was an absolutely gorgeous rainbow in the sky. I love rainbows, but for some reason, this one really struck me. I felt like God placed it there just for me! It was there in the sky just screaming to me, “He will always fulfill His promises! He is a faithful and just God!” It put a smile on my face and although I was in a decent mood, my countenance became even brighter.
In Noah’s story, the sign of God’s promise came at the end. However, I’ve noticed a lot in my life that the sign of God’s promise comes before the promise is fulfilled. I know what the promise is, I just have to wait for it sometimes. That’s how it was yesterday. We’ve had very, very little rain this year. The slightest few raindrops have become a precious commodity around here. Yesterday afternoon, God blessed us with a rainstorm. The sound of the thunder and the sound of the rain pouring down was almost as sweet to me as the sound of my children laughing. I’ve never noticed until this particular rainstorm how exciting and stunning a rainstorm could actually be. It was beautiful!
As I contemplated how unnatural the rain seemed to be, and began to thank God for His outpouring, I heard Him say, “I sent you a sign this morning didn’t I? My promises are real.” So if you’re anywhere close to giving up on your promises, hang in there!! Sometimes the sign comes at the beginning, not the end. And sometimes the fulfillment is closer than you realize!
Well, here I am again… with another old family tale from my childhood for you. Another event in my life that God reminded me of again recently and taught me a lesson with. Hope it’s not too boring. Enjoy!
When I was 5 years old (about to turn 6) my Grandpa, Mom, and little brother all packed up into the car to go visit family in Kentucky. Because of my being enrolled in first grade, my Grandma and I stayed behind. Most would be upset that their trip would require them to be gone over my 6th birthday. But not I! Grandma and I had BIG plans.
One of these big plans, was a trip to Pic N Save, which is now “Big Lots”. I know, I know, bear with me here. I was a kid, and that place was full of cheap stuff to buy with birthday & first lost tooth money!
So we got ourselves dolled up and jumped in the car. I still remember picking out a perfect hot pink back pack and a bunch of rinky dink toys. But before we knew it the weather was changing from a perfect Southern California Autumn day into a cold, dark, windy, and rainy mess. Being that Grandma refused to drive in either the dark or rain, we had a problem. Before we started on our way we prayed. “Jesus, please let us just make it home before the storm. Amen.”
About half way home, the thunder and lightning started. The rain was coming down so hard that we couldn’t see. We were both scared and nervous. Storms like this are rare in our neck of the woods, you see, and she hadn’t driven in these conditions in quite some time. “Oh Jesus, please, protect us and let us make it home safe. Just let us get home before the storm. If we can just make it in before the storm, I know we’ll be okay.”
To not show her upset, she started talking about how wonderful the night in at home would be. There would be hot chocolate and marshmallows. We could watch the lightning show from the window and wear our cozy jammies and slippers. It was to be a grand ol’ time! But once again she prayed, “Lord Jesus, If we can just make it in before the storm, I know we’ll be okay.” I kept thinking, “She does know the storm has already hit, right?” but never said anything. Just went with it.
This went on for a few miles, and finally we were home safe and sound. Sure enough though, as soon as we got in the storm got worse. We did as planned and enjoyed our time together, laughing at how scared we were on the way home from the discount store.
Someday soon, Jesus is going to come back for the church. Life from now until then may get unpleasant. In fact, it’s going to get really unpleasant. The storm is going to hit and things are going to get really nasty. Just watch the news one night and you’ll see it’s already begun, just as we are told in the book of Revelation.
But if we can just make it in before the storm…
What the world is going through now is NOTHING like what it will be. The awesome news is that the body of believers will be taken away right before the storm really gets going. Just like Grandma and I sat all comfy cozy with our hot chocolate, the church will be in Heaven shouting and rejoicing without a worry or a care when the storm hits hard. Until then we must pray. “God, protect us from what is going on, and Jesus come quickly!”
But what if you’re not ready?
All you have to do is ask for forgiveness. Simple as that. Believe in Him. Change your ways. “Go and Sin No More.” (John 8:11)
Before we know it the storm will be over. Just hang tight. Until then, lift up your head, for your redemption draws near… (Luke 21:27) Because we WILL make it in before the storm, and it really is all going to be okay!