“When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what the storm is all about.” –Haruki Murakami
I saw the storm coming from miles away. Bolts of lightning danced in the distance, a stark contrast against the blackened sky.
I was several days into my roadtrip across the country, having just entered into Colorado after a long, grueling day driving through flat, dull Kansas. The mountains ahead were a welcomed change of scenery, but to get to them I knew that I would be driving directly into rain.
In order to avoid the tempest that loomed ahead of me I thought about turning around . . . but nothing was behind me except for miles and miles of corn. And let’s be honest, there was no way I was going to willingly subject myself to that torture again.
No, my destination lay ahead . . . through the storm.
With each passing mile the ominous clouds got closer. The lightning continued to put on a show, joined now by claps of thunder so loud that they shook my car.
And then the rain came.
It started sporadically at first, just a few drops at a time. Within seconds the skies opened up and I found myself in the midst of a complete downpour. My vision was limited and it was all that I could do to see enough of what was in front of me so that I didn’t run off the road.
But almost as quickly as it came, the storm dissipated. The skies opened up and the sun reappeared. And directly in front of me was a double rainbow.
After about 15 references to this Youtube video played through my mind, I smiled. What a beautiful reminder of God’s promises. Not only His promise that He will never flood the earth again (Genesis 9:11), but His promise that He goes before us and is with us (Deut. 31:8), that He is our hiding place (Psalm 32:7), and that His anger lasts only for a moment, but His favor lasts a lifetime (Psalm 30:5).
As I thought about the storms I have faced in my own life, I saw evidence of each of these promises. And I realized that although God allowed storms in my life to help me better know myself and become shaped into the woman He wants me to be, I also believe that He allowed storms to help me to better know HIM and to see firsthand His promises in my own life.
I pulled over onto the side of the road to snap a picture, not so much to capture the beauty of the rainbow itself, but rather to have a reminder of the truth that God had impressed upon my heart in that moment.
I came out of the storm that day different than when I entered it. But then again, isn’t that what the storm is all about?