Rainbow of Promises
“O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the world thy hands have made.” We sure have seen a lot of beauty this year as a result of all of the rain – from the white snow of the mountains against the bright blue sky…to the beautiful, colorful flowers I see as I walk in the mornings…to the rolling green hills as we drive to Chino. Someone once said, “Beauty is God’s handwriting.” I love the chorus of How Great thou art… “Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee. How great thou art!” Does your soul sing when you see the beauty in nature? Mine sure does.
Three and a half years ago, our grandson, Ethan, was diagnosed with Leukemia. He was just 2 ½ at the time. As you can expect, this news was devastating for his parents, Will and Samantha, and the rest of the family. The first 6 months of his treatment, I went up to Sacramento often to visit Ethan and his big brother, William.
One trip up north, I started the morning in the rain…hit some light snow over the Grapevine…and then had showers on and off, all the way up the 99. As some of you know, the 99 is pretty flat and very straight. I was just a little way beyond Ripon when I saw the most amazing rainbow. This wasn’t just a partial rainbow, but it started on one side of the freeway…arched above the road…and ended on the other side. A complete arch from one side to the other with the 99 going smack through the center. The colors were very vivid and bright. Nothing faint or partial about this rainbow (which was my experience with rainbows in the past).
I was alone in the car, listening to praise music…just amazed and in awe of the beautiful display up ahead. This was a soul-singing experience. I expected it to start to fade soon, so I was just enjoying the view. But, as I traveled mile upon mile, it stayed…and it seemed like I was coming closer to it. My thoughts turned to God and I started thinking about Noah and the first rainbow. That brought me to remember that the first rainbow was a promise. Then my thoughts turned to God’s promises…so I tried to list promises from Scripture. The first one that came to mind was “I will never leave you or forsake you.” That’s as far as I got with my list. I knew that God was speaking to me in my car at that moment. He was promising that He would be with us through this unknown and often scary journey of childhood leukemia.
I remembered a fact about rainbows that I had learned in school – you can never reach the end of a rainbow. Rainbows appear to move as you move, because the light that forms the rainbow does so at a specific distance and angle from the observer – so the distance will always remain between you and your rainbow.
I have to dispute that fact. As God was speaking to my heart in my car which now was holy ground, I got closer and closer to my rainbow. So close in fact, that I began to wonder if I would drive right under it. It still was just as bright and vivid as when I first saw it from a distance. This was very flat, farmland with very few buildings. My plan was to look to each side of me as I lost view of the rainbow above me. Sure enough, I could see the trees and barn on my left side through hazy rainbow colors. When I looked to the right, I also saw the trees and bushes through that same hazy color. I drove right under my rainbow which was God’s promise to me that he would hold my hand through these coming years as Ethan struggled with his treatments.
Ethan is 6 now. He has finished his 3 year treatment plan of daily oral chemo, chemo infusions once a month, and spinal taps every three months. He is in Kindergarten now and is doing well. He still has to go for monthly pokes and a visit to his oncologist but he is a healthy, happy boy which is such an answer to prayer. Last fall he was able to go to Disney World through Make a Wish.
I love the 4th verse of Standing on the Promises. “Standing on the promises I cannot fall, listening every moment to the Spirit's call, resting in my Savior as my all in all, standing on the promises of God.” As we trust in God’s promises and listen to our Savior, we can rest in Him. When I got home from that trip, I searched for other promises of God in Scripture. I realized that many of these verses were verses that I had memorized at one time or another. I encourage you to search for God’s promises…the Bible is full of them. He is faithful and rewards those who sincerely seek him. (Hebrews 11:6) I’d like to share two verses that I clung to during Ethan’s struggle with leukemia.
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. Matthew 11:28-29
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deut. 31:6
Pastor Cindy Offringa
Cindy Offringa is the Family Pastor at CCC. She enjoys working with the kids, offering support and resources for their families, and creating fun experiences for all to enjoy. She has been married to John for 22 years and they enjoy spending time with their kids and grandkids. She enjoys walking, swimming with her sister, and reading. She is constantly amazed at (and grateful for) God’s love and grace.