Tuesday, June 22, 2010

High Winds and Rainbows

Recently a friend reposted something on her blog (which I highly recommend because she writes as if she is the best friend and neighbor you never had and really wanted), but she inspired me to write about something in my life.

We have had quite a few storms here lately, torrential downpours where the streets gain a layer of silt filled dirt flowing down them in small torrents of water. Lightning has pierced clouds and trees, lightening up the night brilliantly with sharp crackles of light. Then, thunder that has rolled follows. There go the tornado sirens again. I’m to the point where I’m just keeping some things in the basement in preparedness so I don’t have to gather them each time. One afternoon this week, after the storm clouds had passed and it was starting to lighten back up, a friend called on her way home from work.
“Did you see it?”
“See what?”
“The rainbow!”

I stepped outside and saw the sky filled with a beautiful rainbow. What a wonderful promise God gives us in a rainbow. Noah was given that sign as a reminder, something like a great big visual sign post that says stop and pay attention. The rainbow was God’s personal promise never to flood the earth like he did in the great flood.
As for me, I have never been a huge fan of storms. I don’t like the unsettled feeling I have with them, not knowing which was the storm will turn or what will come of it. But, the rainbows that sometimes come after are a poignant reminder to me of God’s promise. Not only to Noah, but how he used a rainbow as a sign to me that he was there, present in a stormy time.
I stood at the door of a dorm at the University of Southern Mississippi. I had been there for a week and it was one of the worst weeks of my life. I had never had panic attacks before, but I did there. I won’t go into the long story of it all, but needless to say, I had had an exhausting and anxiety filled week. I was there just for a week for drum camp before the start of school. This was the college I had chosen to go to. Upon arrival, I could feel panic wash over me. I’m not sure why it started then, but it did. A trip to the campus nurse made it worse as I was given something for motion sickness which made me – that’s right – sick. A few animal crackers and cans of Coke were all I had that week, and then a can of chicken broth which tasted wonderful at the time. I remember laying in the bed, feeling very weak and exhausted and crying. In between the crying, I would try to read my Bible, I was seeking for solace where I knew I could find it. On the last full day there before I headed to meet my family in transit to their new home in Ohio, there was a storm. As I said, I’ve never been a fan of storms, but I was so numb by this point, I didn’t care much. It was after that storm, when the dark blue sky stopped throwing rain and thunder and lightning at us, that I looked out. A rainbow! A beautiful, bright rainbow! That storm had passed, but I felt like it had stormed just for me so that I could see the rainbow. It was a reminder to me of God’s promise. I may feel that I’m drowning, but I’ll be safe from the flood.
That was years ago. Many days and storms have passed since then. But, each rainbow I see holds a special meaning for me.