Soaring (Thanksday #81)

We first moved to these mountains exactly three years ago. These mountains — this good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills — where we have eaten and been full…it’s been a blessed three years.

The first few weeks of driving Jaana across the mountain to school we’d drive through blankets of thick fog and talk about its beauty. We’d pass over an overlook and marvel at the way the fog dances on the treetops and provide a beautiful backdrop for the pepper-flaked colors of the leaves. One day we saw a rainbow dumping right into the valley of the overlook, and we praised God for His promises fulfilled.

We have eaten bread without scarcity, we have lacked nothing, we have dug copper out of the hills.

It is a good, good land.

Driving through the thick fog one morning, my newborn gift in the backseat snuggled tightly with his blanket and his proud big sister gently stroking his hand, I felt a whisper across my soul that left me breathless

“You aren’t driving through the fog. You’re driving through the clouds.”

After a difficult journey through a dry desert, we had finally ascended to a place where we dined with the clouds. The Lord truly brought us up and out and we now sit cushioned in a place high above that valley. We waited on the Lord and we mounted on wings as eagles.

It’s easy to look around and notice the thickness and grayness and density of the fog — to complain that I can’t see, and wish for sunny skies, and grumble about the chill in the air. How easy it is to forget that what I see isn’t my reality at all. I’m not in the fog, I’m up in the clouds. Clouds that He brought me to — clouds that remind me I’ve come higher than where I was in the valley and that I’m up where only the eagles can soar.

Today, as I drive through the thick layer of clouds that have encompassed these mountains — I bless the Lord for the good land He has given me. I thank Him for His faithfulness and unfailing love, and the visual reminder of His promise.

Are you mistaking clouds in your life for fog?

What are you thankful for this week?

“For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and springs, flowing out in the valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley,of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, in which you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose hills you can dig copper. And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.” (Deuteronomy 8:7-10)

Chasing Rainbows

The dog was barking. I was trying to clean up the kitchen after dinner, but the craziness of the dog assured me he indeed needed to get out. Now.

As soon as I got outside, raindrops began falling. And heavily. I looked to my right and the sky was dark as night. But to my left, the sun was shining as bright as it could be, casting glorious sun rays through the trees.

Perfect conditions for a rainbow.

I stared down those dark, gray clouds with all my might…looking for the slightest hint of color. I thought my mind was playing tricks on me…but sure enough, through the thick across the way, I saw hints of red, orange and yellow.

So I ran.

The farther I went, the brighter the colors became. When I got to the top of the hill, I could see the perfect arc of the rainbow. What took my breath away even more was not just the double rainbow that seemed to suddenly appear, but that the rainbow itself had a rainbow shadow. It looked like red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, violet…green, indigo, violet.

It was stunning.

I went to where I knew I could view the rainbow perched high over the lake, and I just sat soaking it in as long as it lasted.

And I thought.

I pondered about Noah and that first rainbow that God placed in the sky, and wondered if he chased it, trying to get a better view. And I wonder if Noah’s rainbow had a shadow, too.

I thought about how if I had just sent the dog out of the door instead of walking him myself, I would have missed the rainbow. Or if I would’ve been too focused on staying dry, how I would have missed the rainbow.

And I thought about how often in our daily lives, we miss rainbows all the time. Because we’re too lazy to get up and walk. Or we’re too concerned with avoiding the storm. And by how focusing on our circumstances keeps us from noticing how often the conditions are perfect for a rainbow.

We see the dark gray clouds to our right and feel the rain. But that’s all we see. We tend to so easily forget to look to our left and see the sun. And The Son. And how rainbows only occur through the blending of the the two.

We only get to see the truly glorious when we focus on Jesus in the midst of darkness, and not the darkness itself. And when we do, He strokes His hand across our circumstances leaving a lasting promise to remind us He will never leave us or forsake us.

A promise of how His love endures forever.

I later discovered that “rainbow shadow” I saw is known as a supernumerary rainbow. A highly infrequent phenomenon, that according to Atmospheric Optics, is “an intimation of the limitations of geometric optics for it is totally unable to explain them.” (Emphasis mine)

And isn’t the same true of our Jesus? How His miracles and blessings and grace and mercy are unable to be explained due to the limitations of our humanity?

Go. Ignore the chaos around you and get up and walk. Go dance in the rain. Search with all your might for a rainbow. And when you see one, be overwhelmed with the knowledge that He put it there just for you. Just for today. Just because.

Oh. How He loves us.