This is the promise which He Himself made to us: eternal life.
– 1 John 2:25
January, not July, is traditionally the month for resolutions.
It’s the symbolic equivalent of a new beginning, when we make all kinds of promises to ourselves and others. But New Year’s promises are notorious for not surviving past January. Most of us have forgotten our resolutions by summer.
We’re only human, after all. We know how hard it is to keep a promise.
A promise is a powerful thing.
It has no form or substance, yet it carries the weight of an entire relationship on its shoulders. If fulfilled, it’s priceless; if not, it’s worthless. Its value depends entirely on the integrity of the one who gives it.
In Genesis 9:16 we read God promised never to send another worldwide flood to the earth again. He sealed this promise with the light show we call a rainbow. He told us whenever a rainbow appears, He will look down upon it and remember His promise to humanity.
This doesn’t mean much to us today, but it must have been comforting for Noah and his family, when every rain would have been a reminder of fearsome destruction. After each storm, the survivors looked up and remembered God was looking down, creation meeting the gaze of the Creator through the many-colored cloak of mercy.
For Christians today the rainbow has become the symbol of promise. Although it technically only meant to seal one promise, by implication it means so much more to us. If God has kept this one promise so faithfully long after its significance has been lost on us, how much more will He keep all His promises?
And indeed, they will come to pass, promises of tribulation and overcoming, persecution and deliverance, sorrow and comfort. These themes radiate throughout the Bible with the light and dark hues displaying our salvation.
Just as both light and rain are needed to produce a rainbow, sorrow is needed to reveal the hidden splendor of the grace of God in our lives. Our tears are the prism through which the Light of Christ is broken and transformed into the many facets of His beauty.
We must be standing in the right place to see the glory.
The next time a rainbow appears, look up and take heart. God is already looking down—and remembering.