Glimpses of His goodness
The first in Genesis 9 where the flood ends and the Lord refreshes his covenant with Noah and his descendants through a rainbow. This lesson reminded me of how much I need to be focused on Christ through the wilderness, and not on the wilderness itself.
“I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.” Genesis 9:13-17
This is a story I have heard growing up and have read on my own several times. But today the Lord revealed this passage in a new and fresh way through the tender words of Amy Carmichael: “Is it cloudy weather for any of us? When it is don’t let us miss the rainbows. They are a token of the covenant between God and us. God whose name is love, whose will is Love, set his rainbow in the clouds to remind us of that love. Don’t let us be surprised at inward trials of faith, patience, joy, peacefulness, and humility. Is the I in us killed in day? Are way made perfect in a day? The cloud that makes the pastures green is a good cloud. The rainbow of the love of God is set in every cloud that ever darkens our sky. Clouds and rainbows work together for the perfection of our souls!”
Oh today I needed to hear those words! The wilderness can be cloudy. Right now my wilderness is cloudy. Yet the Lord keeps reminding me that these seasons are a reflection of his perfect order and timing. The I in me needs to be killed today! And more today than yesterday! I shouldn’t be surprised at inward trials, rather thankful and grateful for every chance to see that rainbow and remember the great love of my God.
The second lesson fits into how the wilderness can be filled with cycles, which are hard to break. And sometimes the wilderness itself can feel like an unending cycle of either temptation or sin. But my God promises me deliverance both short and long term. And this cycle is broken by the power of focusing once again, on his love. And we see this perfect plan of redemption in the story of Song of Solomon. “He is altogether lovely. This is my Beloved and this is my Friend.” S.O.S. 5:16
“What is thy Beloved more than another? That was the question asked of one who was so unworthy of her Beloved that she grieved until he withdrew from her. She sought him but couldn’t` find him. She called him, but no answer. It could not be otherwise. Her thoughts were moving round herself so that there was no room for him. BUT now she forgets herself in thinking of him and showing him to others. She can’t find words beautiful enough to show him worthily. He is altogether lovely. This is her Beloved. This is her Friend. And instantly she is with him when she thinks that. She is with him in spirit. She knows exactly where he is. There is no separation anymore. There is nothing that can surprise our Lord in our unworthiness. He knows us through and through. But what surprises him most is when we stay in darkness or cold, even for a minute, when we have such a Beloved and such a Friend, that we have only to think of him (instead of ourselves) to find ourselves with him, embraced by his love. “
Oh how I needed to hear that today! Lord break us of our iniquity to lean towards anything other than YOU. Anything other than your wholeness, your beauty, your satisfaction. It is my prayer that the Lord would change my heart and mind to be fixed on his rainbows and his love. That the Holy Spirit would empower me and strengthen me to be so in love with him that I don’t miss a single bow, that I don`t ever dwell in the darkness or the cold. That is my prayer for you today too.