Renewed Promise of Hope

June 21-22, 2014

One year ago tonight, we were rehearsing for the happiest day of our lives. There were many obstacles trying to prevent Taylor and Michelle’s wedding from being all they had dreamed. Her wonderful mother, Dana, and I were nervous as so many things seemed to be going wrong. As we were trying to quietly practice the wedding ceremony, the double booked party at our event center began to spread outside where we were.

Out popped a very dear CVCS teacher who was close to most of the wedding party, Claudia Mehlhaff. As we visited with her, the joy and concern disappeared from mine and Michelle’s mom’s faces. As we turned back to finish the rehearsal, this beautiful perfect rainbow, photographed by my brother, Matt, hung over the backdrop to the wedding ceremony. Dana and I knew the wedding was to be perfect and God wanted us to trust Him with everything.

The wedding day was anointed and many commented on the sweet joyful spirit that filled the evening. We all felt the special presence of the Holy Spirit and I wondered at the time why He would shower us with so much joy and hope. He knew we would have to hold onto that moment as the year passed on from there. He also knew that I would need my precious “daughter-in-love” to sweeten our lives. I’m so grateful for her!

This week has been perhaps one of the hardest for me, yet today as I was allowing myself to grieve today, at just the right moment God sent a text through someone, who normally does not text me, with a word of encouragement, He prompted a friend to call me that I was aching to talk to, and He gave me a massage therapist who understood my faith and needed to hear my story today for her own encouragement. All week messages from so many on Facebook and others I have seen have loved on me for God reminding me of His rainbow promise from last year. He is so faithful!

Once again I began to start thanking God for his constant faithfulness to meet me where I am and to help me get through another stage of grief, another first, another “should have been”. I’m thankful for Michelle and her wonderful family, for my precious husband and our amazing children, Shawn, Drew, Bethany, Angie and Josie. I’m thankful for Taylor and Michelle’s friends and their constant love and support and for all of them, like Paul, who are taking such good care of our “daughter-in-love”. I’m again thankful for all of you who have been so faithful to pray and love on us this year in ways I’ve never felt loved before!

Most of all I’m thankful for our story of hope: When grief hits so hard I can’t breathe, I can look up to the Giver of Hope and rejoice knowing He has overcome the world!

John 16:33 (NIV) “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Bethany’s favorite verse).Image

 

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Rainbow Promises

Hebrews 2:8-9a

In putting everything under Him, God left nothing that is not subject to Him.  Yet at present we do not see everything subject to Him.  But we do see Jesus…

 

This verse was sent to me, yesterday, by a dear friend’s son who was praying for me. He didn’t realize the complete set of reasons Jesus wanted him to send me these words of promise. Like most people, there are always a plethora (I love that word) of reasons for me to trust that everything is under God’s control – reasons to keep me on my knees placing my children, our marriage, our jobs, our health, etc. on the altar of His grace and mercy, trusting in His promises.

It reminded me of a time, about four years ago, when the Lord kept putting rainbows in my life.

About six years ago, my 12 year old daughter and I flew to Seattle. We were praying extra time for the Lord to put his arms around our plane as we were descending through a storm in a double cloud cover, with the Space Needle just waiting to jump out in my imagination.

I closed my eyes to pray, opened them and found myself adjusting my glasses to make sure I wasn’t seeing something weird through my lenses. My daughter, with her glasses, was doing the same thing. She said, “Do you see that?!” “Yes, do you?”

What we saw was a “Glory” – a perfect rainbow in circle with the shadow of our plane in the center of the perfect promise. This wasn’t just one of those summer moon-dog marvels, but a real perfect rainbow in full color. Our Creator allowed it to remain there about 5 minutes for us to marvel.

I looked up this phenomenon and found that it is called a “Glory”. Different sites explained that when the first people found a perfect circle rainbow in higher elevations, they called it a glory because no one had seen it before and no one had seen “God’s Glory”.

As I meditated on this precious vision from my Creator, I realized the rainbows we see in the lowlands, are only half the promise that is revealed in the heights. We don’t realize what He is doing behind the scenes in our lives or lives of our children in the heights and where our eyes cannot see, but we can watch Jesus in His Truth and the Spirit working around us preparing us for His glory of the full promise in Heaven one day.

Other Rainbow Moments

Shortly after our Seattle trip, I had a bad morning before arriving to lead chapel for our school. The front door of the church would not accept my key, so running late and frustrated, I stomped all the way around the building to the back door. When I turned the corner, there was a rainbow over the school; God humbling and calming my spirit J.

The next week, as I arrived at school, I felt prompted to call a dear friend going through marriage problems. We prayed asking God to give her a sign that He cared. After our goodbye, opening the car door, a rainbow graced our sky over our school, in exactly the same place as the week before, except that it was a double rainbow. I called my friend back and sent a phone picture, telling her the Lord had given us a double promise in answer to our prayers to show His Faithfulness and love.

With tears of joy, we wondered why we were fretting.

No matter what we are going through, He has put everything subject to Him and given us His Spirit and Jesus, The Truth to guide us as we trust Him.

We can’t see all the great things He has planned for us, but we can watch with anticipation for His Glory at every turn and that final Glory when we are all with Him forever in the heights.