Image via Wikipediasermon our dear friend Larry preached last Sunday morning.
"Don't fear the clouds," he said, "they have a purpose."
When the clouds, which we know are just collections of water vapor, become super saturated, rain will fall. When light shines through these raindrops, the refraction of the light through the water causes the light to bend. The angle of bending is different for different wavelengths of light. As the white light moves through the sides of the raindrop, the different colors bend different amounts and in doing so spread out into a rainbow. So, a rainbow is the result of light being broken through water.
The water particles in the clouds are exactly what makes the rainbow possible.
Image via Wikipedia
In the Bible, the first rainbow was Gods token to man that He would never again destroy all flesh with floods. "And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. " (Genesis 9:16)
It was a token of grace.
In my life, when those moments of trouble or frustration or "clouds" come, when the rains fall, how often is my vision fixed upon the clouds? How often, as when realizing there will be no kayaking today, is there a frown? But the clouds must come if I am to see a rainbow. The rainbow is the token of grace through the storm -- not out of the storm, but through the storm.
"For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you." (2 Corinthians 4:6-12)
There is another token of grace for us to remember. On Calvary, the Light of the World was nailed to a cross and the clouds and rain of the Father's wrath for us beat upon Him. That Light was broken on a cross for us. Instead of a rainbow, the earth saw only darkness -- the colors hidden in light could not bear to shine in the presence of the death of the one true Light. The token of grace is that new heart created in us, that rainbow of a "new creature" ever shining in our inner man, because the "love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us."