Rainbows in the Rain

Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around.  This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord.  {Ezekiel 1:28}

 

The rain had not stopped for 2 full days & it had rained steady all through the night.  So when I got up that morning & saw that the rain had stopped I took a quick look at my weather app.  2 hours.  That’s how long it said I had before the rain started again so I hurriedly put on my running gear & headed outside.  I just needed a quick run to clear my head.

My heart was heavy for a dear one in my life struggling with identity & purpose.  I suppose I thought if I could just get outside for a little while I could outrun the feelings weighing me down. 

I headed outside & started down my usual path.  As I got about a fourth of the way into my run, sprinkles began to dust my face but I told myself it was just a small passing cloud because after all, my weather app said so!  However about half way into my run the rain came steady & harder.  How could this be?  I checked the app.  I was prepared with the knowledge I needed to get through a nice morning jog.  When I got to my halfway point I turned around & in the midst of rain dripping in my eyes, straight ahead of me was a full rainbow.  I almost couldn’t believe it.  I couldn’t see any sunshine so how could this be happening?  But then I realized, with more reality than the rain dripping in my face, the Lord was whispering His faithfulness to my soul.

My spirit was lifted by His work of beauty in the sky & a tender whisper to my heart.  So what’s the take away from a random rainbow in the middle of a downpour?  I was reminded on that morning run that my good Father is there to meet me in the middle of whatever circumstances I am facing.  The rain didn’t stop.  In fact, it rained on me the rest of the way home & I when got in & I was drenched.  But I was drenched in the refreshing rain of His love. 

Later that day I received a text from a friend with these simple words:

In Christ we find: purpose for the pain, strength for the struggle & faith for the fight.

These words gave life to the struggle inside me that day.  By focusing on His love & kindness toward us we realize how He gives us,

Purpose for our Pain

God promises to comfort us in all tribulation & once we are through it to take that comfort He has given us & share it with others.  In other words, my difficulties are for the purpose of me experiencing Christ’s tender mercies & for the purpose of grace for others when they are in difficulty. {2 Corinthians 1:3-7}

Strength for our Struggle

Paul tells us of a struggle that he was in that was a burden beyond measure, above anything he had strength to deal with, but that God delivered him from.  He will deliver us & give us strength for the afflictions we face.  Pray for strength & ask trusted believers to pray for you.  God will not turn His face from you in times of need.  {2 Corinthians 1:8-11}

Faith for our Fight

When our faith grows weak, He sends us signs of His love.  Signs are not always so physical as a rainbow in the sky, but the Spirit, which lives within us, will give us what we need to have perfect soundness in the presence of difficulty.  For we walk by faith & not by sight! {Acts 3:16, 2 Corinthians 5:7}

Tell your Father where you are struggling & ask Him today to give you strength for your struggle so that you can have faith for the fight of your life & know the purpose for you pain.  He is faithful, my friend.  He will show you His goodness; just open your eyes to see Him. 

Love, Cara



Sacrificial Gratitude

One thing I desire of the LORD, this I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life. To behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple…I would have lost heart except I believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living {Psalm 27:4 & 13}

It wasn’t the first time.  As I sat in silence before the Lord, I knew I was in His presence but literally no thoughts or words would fill my mind much less have a hope of making an utterance on my lips.  This happened day after day for 3 months.  I would enter into His presence to communicate with Him & it was as if only a black empty space filled my heart & head.   I could see Him & feel His presence, at arm’s length away, but I couldn’t get to Him. 

I didn’t blame God for what had happened but I was literally overcome by such deep sorrow that I couldn’t say any words to Him.  I knew He was there but I couldn’t quite figure out how to get curled up in His arms for comfort.  Then one day, just at the end of this 3-month stretch of pain, I heard someone giving a detailed description of Heaven & I realized in the midst of all my heartache I could be thankful for eternity in Heaven.  So I went to the Father & I said thank You for giving me the promise of Heaven.  That was it.  That’s all my prayer consisted of.  But I did it again the next day & the next & the next. 

And after several days of compulsory gratitude a shift began in my heart.  I no longer felt completely isolated from Him & my focus on His goodness, even in the middle of my circumstance, changed my perspective.  I began to receive a peace & the ability to look at what was going on in my life through God’s perspective.  Though I still didn’t like what I was facing, my communication with my Father was opened & once again held the intimacy that I had known before. 

As my perspective began to change, I realized 3 things:

Gratitude isn’t in my circumstance, it’s in me.

Just because I don’t feel like giving thanks doesn’t mean there isn’t something to be thankful for.  As a child of the One true King, I always have what He did on the cross & the promise of Heaven to focus my gratitude upon.  Jesus’ salvation gives me full access to amazing love & power upon which I can rest my gratitude.  {Romans 8:38-39}

In order for me to get to Him, I must look at Him.

When I went before Him to pray, I wasn’t focused on Him.   I was focused on my circumstance, which had me blinded to find His embrace for comfort.  He was still there & actually He was still holding me, but I was resisting by not being fully present in His presence.  All I had to do was to look at Him in order to feel His grace. {Psalm 34:8, 18}

Praising Him is a sacrifice that is worth the cost.

We cannot praise God with a praise that can be purchased.  Our praise must come from deep within & at times requires all the strength & courage we can muster. Hebrews tells us to offer sacrifices of praise to God.  There is no sacrifice so great as when our hearts are burdened.  When praise & gratitude is the farthest thing from my heart & mind, the sacrifice of praise places glory where it belongs & God is pleased in my sacrificial act of worship. {Hebrews 13:15-16}

 

What can you thank Him for today?  What sacrifice of praise can you offer Jesus who offered you everything on the cross & in His resurrection?


Love, Cara