“It is said that when we see the rainbow the shower is over. Certain it is, that when Christ comes, our troubles remove; when we behold Jesus, our sins vanish, and our doubts and fears subside. When Jesus walks the waters of the sea, how profound the calm.”- Charles Spurgeon
“Shower, O heavens, from above, and let the clouds rain down righteousness; let the earth open, that salvation and righteousness may bear fruit; let the earth cause them both to sprout. I the LORD have created it.”- Isaiah 45:8 (ESV)
On a recent vacation to Galena, IL, my wife Vicki and I dined at the Sunset Grille, a restaurant overlooking the Mississippi River at the Chestnut Mountain Resort. After enjoying a relaxing meal along with a idyllic view, we walked back to our car. Suddenly, Vicki spotted a partial rainbow, with every single color vividly displayed, in an otherwise clear sky. This phenomenon puzzled us, because no storms passed over the resort. However, when we returned to our hotel, the clerk informed us that a brief, heavy thunderstorm hit the hotel, about 12 miles northwest from the Sunset Grille, earlier that evening.
Following your ministry downsizing or vocation loss, you enter what pastor and author John Ortberg calls the “uncertainty period.” Most importantly, John asserts, a significant reason for your uncertainty exists — a good of not knowing. Consequently, Pastor Ortberg believes, this “uncertainty period” offers:
- a unique opportunity for growth
- a confident, joyful approach to life, even when you don’t yet know if you’ll get what you hope for
- a type of soul strength not available through immediate answers
- a call for trust rather than condemnation to anxiety
Thus, uncertainty forms an essential element of life. Thomas Merton (1915-1968), a Trappist monk and spiritual intellect, once suggested that if you find God with great ease, perhaps you’ve found something other than God.
Therefore, Pastor Ortberg explains, trusting God provides the necessary foundation as you struggle with the not-knowing times of life:
“You have to trust the author. You have to believe that God has a good reason for keeping his presence subtle. It allows creatures as small and frail as human beings the capacity for choice that we would never have in the obvious presence of infinite power. . . . God wants to be known, but not in a way that overwhelms us, that takes away the possibility of love freely chosen.”
Finally, John concludes, you’ll find God anywhere you’re willing to see the entire world through wonder-filled eyes and a tongue fluent only in praise. In other words, as Max Lucado states:
“We don’t need an ‘Over the Rainbow’ god. We need the One who created rainbows.”