Noah’s Ark. Even if you’ve never been to church a day in your life, you are probably familiar with this story in the Bible. The Great Flood is an event in the Bible when God caused it to rain for 40 days and 40 nights, wiping out all of humanity. Prior to the flood, God gave Noah a head’s up like “Yo, Noah! Build a massive boat, round up your family and two of every animal and save yourself!” – and Noah did just that. There’s an entire message I could preach on that alone but, that’s not the point for today.
In Genesis Chapter Nine, after the flood waters subsided, God spoke to Noah, making a promise to all of humanity and to all the animals (because he cares about the animals too), that “never again will a flood destroy the earth.” God goes on to say “I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth. When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures” (9:13-15). Fascinating!
Yesterday, as I left work, driving to class, I was talking to God. My best conversations with God are in my car. No music, no distractions, just me and Him riding together. I was asking God what my purpose was. I know he has brought me to this place in life for a reason, but I have been seeking my purpose. This is how a typical conversation goes:
“God, will you speak to me? Will you give me a clear sign as to what you want me to do and how you want me to do it? I am seeking your will and not mine. I feel uncertain about the place I’m at and I need clear direction.”
Now, this sounds like I need driving directions, but I'm seeking God for direction in my life. As I’m having this conversation with God, I see a faint rainbow in the distance. It was cloudy where I was, but not raining. Immediately, I had an overwhelming sense of peace. It was as if God showed up, in a sign and said “I promise”.
I was in awe. In that moment I didn’t need to know what he was going to do or how he was going to do it, I just had peace that he was promising to do it.
As I drove closer to my destination, it started raining, and the rainbow became even bigger and brighter. So much so that people on the highway were slowing down way below the speed limit, rolling their windows down, taking photos and video of this amazing phenomenon.
God continued to speak to me saying that "the closer you get to the promise, storms are going to come. The clouds will roll in and it will begin to rain in your life. THAT is how you will know you are close to what I have for you."
Many times in our life, when the storms come, we wonder where God is. It feels like he’s left us sitting outside in the rain with no umbrella. But Jeremiah 29:11-14 says:
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.”
"WHEN" and "IF"! Those words requires action on our part.
When we were younger, my sister and I would play Marco-Polo in the pool at my grandmother's house. If you're not familiar with this game, one person closes their eyes and yells "MARCO" while the other person yells "POLO" until the person with their eyes closed tagged the polo person. I loathed being Marco! Even though I knew my sister was there, she was not allowed to say a word until I spoke first- "MARCO!" I would aimlessly splash around yelling "Marco" trying to find her. Sometimes I would give up and just open my eyes and she was standing right in front of me!
The same is with God. When I read this passage from Jeremiah, I think about this game (although God is not running from us). When I call out to God, he responds. If I would just open my eyes, and seek him, I don't have to look far to see that he is right in front of me. God desires a relationship with us and even though God is with us, we have to SEEK him to see him.
As I was seeking him in my car, I believe he spoke to me through that rainbow, which just so happened to be his actual promise to humanity.
I write all this to say, when it feels like you are in the middle of a storm in your life; when it’s cloudy and raining, and you can't see what direction you are going- slow down and look for the promise. Seek God with all your heart and he will show himself to you. I promise.
Thank you for joining my on my journey to finding grace... enjoy the journey.