So on our way home from Teens for Christ tonight (Information here), Ben and I saw a gorgeous rainbow that looked like it decided to disregard other neighborhoods and settle down right over Riverbend Road. Okay, people, I know rainbows don’t really work like that. But the reminder it brought was timely, needed, and I believe God-sent.
What kind of reminder can a rainbow bring, you may ask? That rain can make that happen in the sky? That the leprechauns are still on top of their game (anybody here seen the leprechaun say yeah!)? YES! Okay not really. Here’s more what I was thinking:
Check out Genesis 9:1-17:
1 And God blessed Noah and his sons and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth. 2 The fear of you and the dread of you shall be upon every beast of the earth and upon every bird of the heavens, upon everything that creeps on the ground and all the fish of the sea. Into your hand they are delivered. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. 4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood. 5 And for your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. From his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. 6 “Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image. 7 And you, be fruitful and multiply, increase greatly on the earth and multiply in it.” 8 Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, 9 “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”
Obviously, this is immediately after God destroyed the world with water, and his promise to Noah and all future generations (that includes us), is that the rain will always eventually stop. It will never destroy the earth again. But that’s not the coolest part to me. The coolest part is the reminder that God will always keep his promises.
Promises are a big deal to me. I know promises are important to everyone, but I’ve learned about myself, especially in the past few years, that I take them more seriously than most people, for better or for worse. I don’t ever use the phrase “I promise” unless I intend to absolutely do EVERYTHING in my power to keep that covenant. It doesn’t matter if I’m promising to remain faithful to my husband or if I’m promising to tie one of my student’s shoelaces in five minutes. It’s a promise, and if that isn’t serious, what’s the point in even saying it?
The biggest let-down to me is when others don’t follow through on their promises, and even more, when I don’t follow through on a promise I’ve made. It’s despicable (and yes, in my head it came out in Sylvester’s voice), and it’s sinful. We don’t often call it such, but it’s lying, and we all know what happens to liars (Revelation 21:8). I feel, however, that many people make promises without even thinking about what they’re saying, and it’s hurtful, because what it says is this, “you’re not important enough for me to carefully consider what I say to you.” And every now and then, people you trust implicitly will let you down by breaking promises made to you, and it can feel like a dagger to the heart. How could they do that? I have the answer, folks. It’s because we’re all human.
The good news is, God never does that. To me, this is the most comforting aspect of His character. If He says He will do it, you can bet your life that He will. People are inconsistent, inconsiderate, and undependable. Jesus is the same. Yesterday, today, and always (Hebrews 13:8).
The past couple of weeks, my husband and I have dealt with feeling worn down, discouraged, and in many ways, helpless. As much as I cherish the wonderful friendships I have, nothing any human says or does can comfort me, encourage me, or motivate me to just keep going as much as these promises from my Father:
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways, acknowledge him, and He will make straight your paths” (Proverbs 3:5-6).
“Seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
To put it simply, no matter what life throws at you, put God first, and He’s going to take care of all the stuff you (I—I’m really talking to me) worry about. Really, I promise. But don’t take my word for it. Take God’s.