Thursday, May 31, 2012

Rainbow Flowers and Small Miracles

If there were a magic solution to life’s problems and I could be delivered from all hardship, I would choose to hold onto the problems. As I look back over my life, there are countless blessings that have come to me as a direct result of the difficulties in my life. Would I really want to give up all of life’s blessings to bypass the hardships? I don’t think so. I would choose the hard road any day.

My life has had a number of disappointments, hurt, heartbreak and undesirable circumstances. But it has been while walking through the hard places that I have found true happiness. I've heard the statement, “When people experience hardship, they either get bitter or they get better.” I chose the latter. I have gotten better through adversity.  I decided to let go of self-pity and began seeking to know Christ better. As my heart turned toward Jesus and prayer,  my life began changing. My circumstances didn't change at first, but I found unspeakable joy in the midst of the trials. 

I remember a day when I felt pure bliss while experiencing hardship. My husband had been laid off from his job for several months and was busy seeking employment. I had recently begun working for a catering company on the weekends and I was also doing a few other things trying to make ends meet in ways that would allow me to keep my role as a mother my highest priority. Our cars were very old, our 22 year old house was falling apart in many ways. Yet, I can honestly say that I was the happiest I had ever been. My heart was at rest,  I had found a passion and love for life. To put it in a nutshell, I found pure gold in my relationship with God, our Creator, the One who gives us breath. He lifts us up in ways that nothing else can.

It was in 2008. I was sitting at my dining room table with a list of bills, wondering how we were going to squeak by that month. I spent thirty minutes talking to a representative with my mortgage company about payment options during my husband’s unemployment. After this conversation, I began jotting down some ideas. I realized how close we were to staying afloat. I had the thought, “If we could get some help with our groceries, we would be able to pay the remaining balance of the mortgage payment.” Simultaneously, as I was having this thought, the doorbell rang. I answered the door and it was my daughter’s friend, Emily and her mother, Kimberly. They were standing there with a beautiful bouquet of rainbow-colored flowers and a shopping bag full of food. With a huge smile on her face, Kimberly said, “The ‘Rainbow Buddies’ are here!” Instantly, I felt the tears welling up in my eyes, and like many times before, I was in awe of God’s perfect timing. This sweet woman that I barely knew had brought exactly what I needed at precisely the moment I needed it. What an amazing symbol of Christ’s love this was for me! My heart was rejoicing over this miracle from God.

It's easy to fall into the trap of believing that God allows hardship in our lives to punish us. I have discovered that it is really quite the opposite. God allows pain and sorrow in the lives of His children so that He'll have the opportunity to shower us with His love and bring glory to His name. Through adversity, we get to experience God’s love in the most miraculous ways. 

This reminds me of what God did for Noah thousands of years ago. Up until the flood waters receded, Noah must have really questioned God. But when the water receded and the rainbow appeared, I can only imagine how Noah’s heart was rejoicing over the miracle he saw God perform. He saw that God is real, He is love, and He keeps His promises.

I haven’t experienced the miracle that Noah did. But I have seen the realness of God. I feel His love encompassing my heart. I continually rejoice over the way He comforts me, the way He encourages me, and the way He showers me with His love by sending rainbow flowers and small miracles!

Genesis 9:13  "I have set a rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth."

Genesis 9:16  " Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds , I will remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on earth."

This article has been revised from a piece originally written in March, 2008.

Live Abundantly!