I was recently doing a cluster of my not-favourite things all at once: driving a fair distance, on a winding country road notorious for kangaroos, coming close to dusk, in the rain, on the way to a family funeral. I was painfully aware of the inherent risks and complications that could strike at any moment and I felt my grip on the steering wheel tightening with ever-increasing anxiety.
And then I saw it—a giant rainbow in the sky, so vibrant and clear that I could see where it touched the ground only a few hundred metres ahead of me. It was beautiful, and we started playing a game, this rainbow and me. Now I am perfectly aware of the scientific laws of refracting light through moisture that creates rainbows, but that knowledge doesn’t diminish my wonder and pleasure in seeing these marvellous arcs in the sky.
This particular rainbow seemed to be kissing the edges of the wheat silo coming up, so I excitedly anticipated being able to drive through the rainbow in a few moments. But just as I approached the silo, I could see that the rainbow was now shining down on the railway crossing, so I aimed for that destination. Then it was at the farm gate, then the rest stop turn-off, then the wattle bush at the base of the large gum tree, and so on and so on.
I kept chasing that rainbow for about 30 minutes, never catching it, having it remain tantalisingly just out of reach, but it never dimmed in its clarity or vibrancy that whole time. I started to wonder at this mini-miracle I was experiencing and some lovely insights invaded my mind. I have always associated rainbows with God’s promises, as taught to us through the Old Testament story of Noah and the flood (Genesis chapters 6–8).
I often feel that God is my shield and refuge, and I wondered if that was why I was so intent on passing under the rainbow, to symbolically claim that protection for this particular journey. What I realised, though, was in the time I was chasing my rainbow I wasn’t as anxious about the situation I was in. In fact, I could honestly say that I experienced a real sense of peace, joy and of hope. I was smiling as I was driving at dusk, in the rain, on a long country road scanning for ‘roos.
God is ahead of me, marking out a plan for me to follow and enjoy. I need to keep my eyes open to seeing where he is leading me, and while I might end up doing uncomfortable things, by focusing on him I can be at peace in the midst of them.
At the end of this particular journey I was hit with some terrible news that would have ordinarily impacted my state of heart and mind, but I remained remarkably calm and peaceful. I know that God is a part of the details of my life, and those I love, and is providing rainbows for me to chase to remind me of that.