Sometimes people joke about “having a Monday”– you know, when everything that could possibly go wrong does. As much as I wish that I had my life all together, I find that I frequently have a Monday experience to start my week, regardless of how much I determine not to on my drive in to work. Today was no exception and was perhaps the most Monday-est Monday I have had in quite a while.
I woke up with a hunch it was going to become a “Monday.” Still getting over being sick, curling iron melted the plastic on the toilet seat cover, running late, can’t find something to wear, feeling irritable with those around me. Lunch rolls around and I am sitting there chomping on my mushy-centered carrots (gross! why?) trying to turn my attitude around after my fourth not-so-helpful phone call to my student loan company. I bite into another mushy-centered carrot covered in guacamole that ricochets off of my teeth, splatters all over my shirt, scarf, and crotch area of my pants.
I stood up and announced I was going home to change and come back and try again. This is progress, people. I am now almost 26 and have disciplined myself to try again instead of actually staying home and crying.
I came back shortly after putting on outfit numero dos for the day only to find my Monday continuing with full force through pretty much every interaction that followed. I wasn’t really sure after the guacamole incident I could become more annoyed, but it’s possible and I can. Just a little more complaining and then we’ll get to the good part.
As I was driving home the urge to write came over me. I am slowly but surely learning that this means God is going to speak and that I need to listen.
I just need to sit down and write out all the things that are making me so angry right now.
I changed into workout clothes (because I totally want to go for a run but it’s probably going to rain again and…outfit number 3 thankyouverymuch) and grabbed an old notebook after trying to determine which journal this entry should go into- ultimately deciding I don’t want it in a journal because it’s going to be full of all my hate. I started writing furiously the biggest list of whining and complaining ever. I hate everyone. People are rude. Why is it so hard for me to love people today? The weather is so gray and rainy and really makes it hard for me to function like a normal human being. Why can’t I just BE a child of God? Why am I a jerk? I have so much debt to pay off. So many people owe me money. I want/need to buy everything I don’t need/want to buy. I want junk food. I don’t want to cook. And a long list of other things I won’t list here because they’re just too personal and involve other people–although in my defense, those are the much meatier topics that make the list look like I might maybe have .5% ground to stand on in making the list to begin with.
And while I’m writing as fast as I can and wondering why everything is so hard today and why I am so filled with hate and annoyance, I start to hear the oncoming rain outside my window. The rain starts off soft and then comes on full force. It’s so LOUD and feels so out of place because the sun was finally, FINALLY, just starting to come out. It had been raining earlier but this sound caught my ear because it was so out of place from when I had looked out the window moments before.
Wow, there HAS to be a rainbow outside with this kind of weather…
A rainbow. God’s mercy. God’s promises.
I ran downstairs and onto my front porch in the downpour to see if I could see a rainbow. I looked around as far as I could see without going out into the rain…nothing. I half expected to see others on my street doing the same. No one. Well this is stupid. Is there ALWAYS a rainbow or is that just sometimes? Rainbows are like stars and cotton candy and unicorns and those are for kids. Rainbows are stupid.
And then I looked back over to my right and up in the sky arching right over the house next to mine was a faint rainbow starting to peek through the clouds.
Oh. It did show up. It’s kind of pretty and fascinating and my goodness it doesn’t even look real against the sky. When was the last time I saw one of these? Why are they so rare? They literally look fake against all the other earthly backdrop we see day in and day out, and yet, there it is– gigantic and real and totally not man made.
Under the shelter of my porch I stood in the downpour and watched this faint little rainbow glimmer in the clouds. It wasn’t the biggest or best rainbow I’ve ever seen, but today I didn’t need a big, bold rainbow. I needed one that was certain and sure in the midst of all my ugliness. I just needed to know it was there like He said it would be. That He’s still who He says He is. That He will always show up.
Can we talk about how often I forget God’s promises that He’s made to me? To us? To all the living creatures for generations to come? I love that it says in Genesis that He doesn’t forget His promise to us. We might forget them, but He won’t. Just like the rainbow. I’ve seen them before, I know they exist. They’ve taken my breath away before with their beauty, but will one really show up today in the middle of this downpour? Yes. He doesn’t forget.
The promises He brought to mind in this moment were that He is who He says He is. He is good even when people are not. He is good even when my circumstances are not. He is good even when my attitude is definitely not. He is truth when I can’t see through the lies. He is constant when I doubt. He promises I will have trouble but He has already overcome it all. He promises life won’t be easy but He loves me and is with me and I get to spend eternity with Him. He promises He will complete the good work He has started in me even when I don’t look so good today.
In Ezekiel, it compares the glory of the rainbow against the clouds and rain to the glory of God and His brightness. This is what the rainbow looked like today, God literally reaching into the world and into this moment and showing His glory right before my eyes.
In a new way, I am so thankful for a rainbow today. It isn’t just understood science, it isn’t just a cake decoration for a child’s birthday party, and it isn’t just a symbol for sexuality. Long before it was any of these things in our world, it was a promise- a covenant our Dad made with His kids- that never again would He destroy the world as He had before. That He had a better plan because He loves us and He keeps His promises.
Praying that if you’re reading this you are reminded of the promises you need to hear today and that they would continue to transform you too.
Can you see it?