Sunday, April 18, 2010

Get Real With God: Bent By Love ~ Lessons From a Rainbow

After spring showers we occasionally see the magic that follows in the sky above us. Stray bits of moisture come together to form an arch in the sky that bends light to form colors that dazzle us and remind us of a promise made long ago.

We find this promise in Genesis 9:13-17 when God explains his covenant with Noah and all mankind.
Today when we see a rainbow in the sky we often associate it with the word "promise" because it reminds us of God's faithfulness. However, have you ever noticed the shape of the rainbow?

Recently, it struck me in a powerful way that this great symbol shows light leaving the earth (to the ground upward) then light returning to the earth (the bending arch back down).

When God created the world he cherished and enjoyed his work. He put his whole self into it. The Bible tells us that He was pleased with His creation. Over time humanity became unrecognizable to Him. Tainted by sin and rebellion He was disillusioned by humanity's state.

I believe God's first regret is evident in Genesis 6:6 where it says " And the Lord was sorry that he made man on the earth, and he was grieved in His heart." Wow! His pain was so deep that He was done with His creation.

Imagine your child holding up a broken toy. They once loved it and treasured it, but now it's lost it's value. It will not take long for that child to cast the toy aside and find a new working toy to love and enjoy.
Humanity was in that same state of brokenness. God's disappointment was like light leaving the earth, departing with disappointment and disgust, regrets raining in his mind. In Genesis 6:7 God says . . ." I am sorry that I have made them." Ouch!
Then something strange happens. Just as this light and hope is about to turn away from creation something catches Gods eye. Some movement turns God's head and He watches with eagerness at the one thing in creation that still honors Him. Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord (Gen. 6:8). God found something redeemable in Noah. He found a working piece of this broken toy and He saw hope.

Noah was obedient enough to endure the mockery of a sinful world and He began to follow God's directions to build an arc and fill it as God ordered. As the rains began to fall and the storm clouds formed, God bent down in mercy and placed his hand over the door of the arc to seal His treasure in safety (Gen. 7:16).

There are many times in the Bible and modern history that God's people have called on to "bend down and hear their prayer". There are also many Biblical example of God bending to hear, bending to feed, or even bending down to write in the ground.

Remember the story in John 8 about the woman caught in adultery? In verse 8 Jesus stooped down and "wrote on the ground with His finger." What might he have written? Whatever he wrote, combined with His words, brought conviction.

The story just confirms what we already knew about God. When others are bent on revenge, God is bent on mercy.

When the heart of God was broken in Noah's day by the complete depravity of the world, His glory began to pull away. Then He saw Noah and in mercy He bent back toward humanity. Like a rainbow, he changed course, he arched back to His creation and was bent by the love He saw in Noah's heart.

When I became a Mom I was eager to create life. You probably were too. You may have worked hard to create that life. Maybe you took your temperature, saw a fertility doctor, or worked a different and challenging road of adoption. In either case, you worked to create your family.

Then that child began to grow.

I'll never forget the first time I heard my child use the word "I hate you". The anger and rebellion that flowed from the tiny mouth was shocking and it broke my heart. In that moment I couldn't recognize my own child. I just saw the source of my pain. I felt the disappointment and fear that perhaps I'd made a mistake. Maybe parenthood wasn't for me.

I picked up that tiny little body and placed it in a time out. Truth be told I needed a time out myself to sort out my feelings and find the correct response. It took about two minutes until the little pouting face began to show remorse and slowly I watched love come out of teary little eyes.

How could I resist? I bent down. Eye to eye I faced her. I protected her in my arms from the anger that had only moments before flooded the room like a storm and threatened to destroy our most precious bond.

The rainbow is a promise. It's also so much more. It's Gods love bent down to hug humanity. It's a second chance to turn from our selfish, evil ways and love God bigger. It's a miracle in the sky that can also remind us mothers to bend in love, forgive when we are hurt, and show mercy when other's would seek revenge.


Unknown said...

AMEN Heather! Amen!

Love covers a multitude of sins!

Thanks for sharing His promise with us today,

kcmom2four said...

Your post brought me to tears. I too have often pondered how angry God must have been. The sight of a rainbow causes my heart to swell with emotion and I do remember God's promise to us. Thanks for this reminder today. I hope that God see's some Noah in me as each day I strive to be more the woman that God wants me to be.