This Summer has been hard. It has been hot (Can I get a witness?) and it has been physically challenging for me. Facing medical issues, some overwhelming situations with the sale of our home, and often feeling a little discouraged; I found myself pleading with God to help me to see His goodness.
Had I heard Him correctly when He told us we’d be moving?
Now this may sound petty to some. But I know you’ve been in my shoes. Simply insert that situation where you felt you heard God tell you what you must do; you prayed, sought counsel and did what you were told and what happened next was no where near what you had expected to happen.
Last week, I asked God to continue to confirm His will to me; to show me a sign to help me to know that He was with me and that I was not alone. That very night, a double rainbow appeared over the ocean over 600 miles from my home in NJ. We talked with the kiddos about our God who keeps His promises and how the rainbow reminds us of this truth.
As we returned home from the beach and in an odd turn of events, we began to see Facebook posts from our friends showing a double rainbow appearing over the town we intend to move to. We were marveling at a double rainbow in South Carolina, while our friends were marveling at a double rainbow in New Jersey (quite literally within the exact hour).
Not realizing the correlation; I continued to ask God to remind me of His goodness – to show me a sign.
Last night, unable to sleep, and just returning from our vacation, I turned to read a small Bible that my mom gave my husband Jimmy to bring on his Grand Canyon hike last year. My grandfather had lived faithfully until he recently passed away just before turning one hundred years old. He was a soldier, a Christian, a husband, father and grandfather (and great grandfather!) As I turned the pages and read a few Psalms, I began to look through this tiny Bible and it opened to Proverbs 19-22. There is so much wisdom in these small pages, and tucked into them was a 4 leaf clover. My grandfather was not a man of ‘luck’; but a man of devout faith; the kind of grandfather that insisted that the Bible be read after every meal and prayers said before. The kind that ensured you attended church. Though flawed (like the rest of us) he, together with my grandmother were two of the more faithful people I have ever known. She a prayer warrior throughout my entire life. God knew the meaning of this ‘find’ to my heart. He knew when my grandfather placed this little token between the now-yellowed sheets of his Bible, that many, many years later I would stumble upon it in a moment of prayer and wondering about His goodness and His response would be a special Godwink just for me. He was not only with me, He had this moment planned for over 80 years in the making. Rather than scold me, mock my fears or hurt me, God drew me nearer to Himself.
God isn’t offended when we wonder, seek Him and ask Him to reveal Himself to us. Sometimes our faith can feel overwhelming and the Gospel almost unbelievable. We know from scripture God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours (Is. 55) and that God has revealed things to His people, but that He also keeps some things to Himself (Deut. 29). That can make our walk confusing as we are pummeled by the world and face the whispers of an enemy. When you find yourself questioning the promises of God, ask Him for a reminder. We are told we can seek Him and find Him when we seek Him with our whole heart (Jer. 29) even when we, like the exiles in Jeremiah 29, feel oppressed, abandoned, dismayed and confused; we are not without hope and should look to God because He has the playbook. His plans for His people are to prosper them and not to harm them, to give them a future and a hope (Jer. 29). We can also be reminded that He is working all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (Rom 8). This doesn’t mean things will always go our way or even in the way we expected. It does mean that God is with us and He is good.
I also learned that God is faithful. God used those rainbows to remind me of the story of Noah and the promises of God that they signify. This wasn’t a coincidence. Weeks ago, in the midst of my wandering and worrying about the sale of our home; I spoke with a pastor-friend who told me that when God tells you to do something, you do it, even when things aren’t moving as quickly as you thought they might. God spoke to Noah and what God told Noah sounded downright crazy. It was many, many years later that what God spoke to Noah actually happened. But Noah simply obeyed and waited. Imagine what he felt like in the midst of that wait. My friend encouraged me to be like Noah and obey and wait. God keeps His promises, and He is faithful. We need to obey and wait.
When we seek God, He will draw us nearer to Himself. In my humanity, when my kiddos are questioning my goodness, I have trouble being patient with them and the last thing I want to do is draw them to myself and remind them of my deep love and commitment. I become indignant, angry and impatient. Not so with God. When we seek Him, there is no limit to the depth that He will take us. The more we give to Him, the deeper the return on our investment. God will remind (and in my case continue to remind) us through little things and big things, things spoken, things He created in nature, through His words in scripture and through His people, that we are not alone, we are deeply loved and that He is good. There are things we haven’t even spoken to another person; things we have only wondered about; God will remind us that He knows our thoughts, hopes and fears and will answer with something in a way that is meaningful to only us.
When you find yourself questioning the promises of God, ask Him for a reminder. God keeps His promises, and He is faithful. We need to obey and wait. When we seek God, He will draw us nearer to Himself and will remind us of His great love for us.
Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made; Were every stalk on earth a quill, And every man a scribe by trade: To write the love of God above would drain the ocean dry, Nor could the scroll contain the whole though stretched from sky to sky. A.D. 1050 by, Meir Ben Isaac