The rainbow, a sign from God
Andrea Chan // January 8, 2021, 3:01 pm
A few days back, I was on my usual morning run before work, thinking about conversations I recently had with friends who had prayed to God for a sign.
God had answered them in different ways like Bible verses or something extraordinary they had seen. I’ve never really asked God for a sign in such an explicit way.
It made me wonder if I would see His signs as a coincidence. Or would I end up reading too much into whatever happened in my life – interpreting normal things as signs from God to fit my bias?
If I’m skeptical about everything, I will believe nothing.
As we’ve been studying the book of Genesis in Bible Study Fellowship (BSF), I found myself thinking about how God had provided signs for Noah and Abraham in His own unique way.
Studying the Bible has also shown me God’s nature: He faithfully walks with us in our doubts and extends grace repeatedly throughout our imperfect lives.
He desires what’s best for us and is far more powerful that we can even fathom. So even without a sign, that was enough of an assurance for me to trust God.
So I told God: “God, I know Your nature, and that You care for us and love us and that Your plans are good for us. I don’t need a sign.”
Right after I finished that thought, I found myself at the foot of a huge rainbow.
My jaw dropped. I was not expecting to see a rainbow on a random morning run – especially not right after I declared I didn’t need a sign from God.
It might have been a coincidence, but I also realised that if I’m skeptical about everything, I will believe nothing.
So I choose to believe in the beauty of this serendipitous moment and to see the rainbow as a reminder of God’s grace extended to us, just as He had said to Noah in Genesis 9:12-16.
Beyond the covenant and the reminder of God’s grace in our lives, I was simply excited to see a rainbow.
I’m not the most talkative person and definitely not one to approach strangers.
But when I see a rainbow, I get so excited that I feel a need to point the rainbow out to everyone around me so they don’t miss out on the beauty.
That morning was no different: I spoke to three strangers about the rainbow and it was interesting to see how different their reactions were.
In fact, you could even draw a parallel to how it’s like when Christians share the gospel with others.
THE ONE WHO IS TOO BUSY
As I jogged, I stopped the next lady I saw and excitedly said “Look, there’s a rainbow!” as I pointed in the rainbow’s direction.
I don’t think she heard me. Or perhaps she was too focused on the rain because all she said was: “Yeah, I need to walk faster. You better run faster also.”
It made me think about how people (including myself) are so caught up with the busyness of life.
Sometimes, in the discomfort of our situations – in this case, the inconvenience of rain – we forget to look up to the Creator and miss out on the beauty around us.
THE ONE WHO POINTS OTHERS IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
I continued on and soon found myself running towards a lady I’d seen running almost every morning for the past six months. We’d never spoken, apart from the polite smile here and there.
But that day, I had a reason to talk to her. “Look, there’s a rainbow!” I exclaimed again.
This time, she smiled excitedly in return and told me she had seen it as well, and to keep running forward because the view gets better.
That reminded me of how important it is as Christians to point each other in the right direction, coming together in thanksgiving to stand in awe of God’s amazing works.
It also brought to mind how sharing God’s work in our lives is often met with the same excitement from fellow Christians, and how God’s work is limitless and timeless – His impact on one person’s life can encourage so many others.
THE ONE WHO IS NOT READY TO HEAR
I continued running and soon found myself greeted by an amazing view of a full rainbow over my estate. It was magnificent. I had a renewed desire to tell even more people about this amazing sight!
I continued running, passing a few individuals as I struggled and debated internally about whether I should keep telling random strangers about the rainbow – it was right there in plain sight but so many people weren’t looking up!
But I decided that I couldn’t keep something so beautiful to myself, and so I approached the third and final person for that morning.
This American man is my neighbour, another individual I exchange polite hellos with but nothing more.
That day, I waved and slowed down as he stood there with his dog and baby as he always does in the morning. I pointed towards where where he would be able to see a full view of the rainbow and encouraged him to walk towards it.
He smiled and said, “That sounds wonderful but we usually head in this direction,” pointing in the opposite direction.
I saw in his response something similar to a “thanks but no thanks” when Christians try to share the gospel.
There was nothing wrong with his response. But I wished that just for one morning, he would have been willing to explore a different direction – something unfamiliar but worth the detour.
Because he never walked in the direction I pointed him towards, he’ll never know the magnificence of the rainbow. But one day, when the time and place is right, he may just see it for himself.
Likewise, we shouldn’t let being turned down by people prevent us from trying to share the gospel.
One day, in God’s time, they may just see what we have been trying to share with them and truly experience the goodness for themselves.
As I reflected on my experience that day, I realised something.
That morning, the rainbow was my good news. But every day, the gospel is our Good News – that God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.
And not only did He make a way to free us from the consequences of our sin, He allows us to share in His inheritance!
I hope that as Christians, we will not lose that eagerness to share the goodness of Christ with those around. And may we remember for ourselves to keep looking up, remaining in awe of God’s beauty in our lives.
For me, this means setting aside time to journal and reflect about what I’m grateful for – whether that’s a good conversation with a friend or a beautiful sunset.
It means worshipping Him daily, remembering that all we have comes from His grace.
There is a greater hope and light that can heal the brokenness that’s in this world and inside of us.
It also means being willing to speak to friends, both believers and non-believers, about how God has been working in my life and how I see His grace and love at play in the world – even amidst the difficulties and darkness of this world.
In sharing more intentionally, I hope to remind both myself and my friends of a greater hope and light that can heal the brokenness that’s in this world and inside of us, instead of feeling defeated by the less pleasant side of this world.
Finally, to any non-Christians reading this, I hope this helps you to understand a little better from a Christian perspective about why we share the gospel.
Not because because we want to convince people for the sake of it, but because we desire for you to see and experience the goodness that we have come to know through Christ.
THINK + TALK
- Have you ever asked God for a sign?
- How does God’s promise through the rainbow apply to your life today?
- Know someone who could use a word of hope or encouragement? Be their “rainbow” this week.