Desert Rainbow


It would not have made a difference which side of the bed I rolled out of yesterday morning. From either side, the day didn’t look bright. Too much to do with too many loose ends hanging. Even the sky was overcast.

By the time I took my morning walk, it was drizzling. One more strike against the day. What we really needed was a good shower, not a few drops. Even in the desert, we expect (and need) some rain. And we have really needed it lately.

I had a meeting scheduled for the first part of the morning, and I knew I needed to leave the house early to prepare for it. Five minutes later than I had planned, I stepped out the front door with a grim attitude and a cloudy perspective.

And then I saw it—the rainbow. It was the kind of rainbow that forces you to stop and makes you suck in your breath quick. Vivid and brilliant, it stretched across the sky forming a full and perfect arch.

Suddenly, the day brightened—in seven shades of vibrance.

Why Rainbows Are Special to Me

My dad teases my mom about rainbows. It goes back to a conversation from before they were married.

Being a newly-saved, first generation Christian, my mom was quick to cherish and internalize the truths she was learning. Especially, she loved personally experiencing “old” symbols and truths.

Like rainbows.

To see a rainbow and understand its connection to God’s promises was significant to her. She didn’t brush over it. She saw it and appreciated it.

So when they were on a date once and they saw a rainbow, my mom was quick to make it a topic of conversation.

“Rainbows are special to me. Do you know why?”

My dad expected a moment of confiding. Perhaps a childhood memory or an inside revelation. “Why?” he responded.

“Because they mean that God keeps His promises.”

“Yes,” he waited for more.

My dad had seen the stickers and bulletin covers. You know, the ones with rainbows and the statement: “God keeps His promises.” He knew about Noah and the flood. Surely there was more to why rainbows were so special.

“Every time I see a rainbow,” my mom continued, “it is a reminder that God has never flooded the Earth again. He keeps His promises.”

That was all. That was what my mom wanted to share about the specialness of rainbows.

The simplicity and tender sincerity of it struck my dad, and he still brings it up whenever rainbows appear.

“Do you know why rainbows are special to me?” he asks with a grin.

I can’t help it now. Every time I see a rainbow, I really do remember that it is a sign of God’s faithfulness.

Rainbow settings

If you’re trying to picture yesterday’s rainbow—the perfect one that included the full arch—you should know that the sky was quite grey. (The picture at the top of this post actually is yesterday’s rainbow. In the picture, you can even see what I coudn’t initially see—the double rainbow.) I suppose it was the overcast sky that made such a setting for the brilliance of the color.

But I didn’t see the sky any longer. Or the annoying drizzle.

Actually, nothing had changed about my day. My too do list was still long. Loose ends were still frazzling my planning.

But the splash of brilliance across the overcast sky gave a fresh perspective to it all—a focal point.

It focused my eyes on beauty, and it turned my mind to the faithfulness of God.

You see, rainbows are a reminder that God always keeps His promises.

Every one of them.

Every day.


This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.—Lamentations 3:21-23