Rainbows proclaim hope. An assurance that God will always keep His promises. A confirmation that He is with us even in the darkest of times. A sign of His faithful love and care over us always and forever.
Over twenty years ago, shortly after I finally admitted to myself I was abused many years earlier and I began to deal with it, I went to a retreat for those who were victims of clergy abuse.
When I walked through the doors, I wanted to turn around and run back to my car and go home. Shame, fear, and hopelessness consumed me.
Then I saw her standing at the windows covering one wall. A nun staring out the window. As she stood there, a rainbow broke through the stormy clouds and brightened the sky.
The rainbow drew me to the window next to her. We were hushed with awe for several minutes.
Then she whispered, “I asked God for a sign.”
She shared her story of abuse by a priest and how afraid she was to be there. But God confirmed to her through the rainbow that she was where He wanted her to be.
This glorious rainbow inspired in both of us hope that God was on our side, He always keeps His promises, and He will never, ever abandon us.
Those days were gut-wrenching as we worked through the unspeakable pain of sexual and spiritual abuse from clergymen. I probably didn’t get as much benefit out of it as I could have if I had dared to open up more, but God still boosted me on the road to healing.
Two women pastors led the retreat, and on the final day, they held communion to whoever wanted to join them. Love, acceptance, and support warmed the atmosphere. One woman stood rooted to the floor several feet away. Her pain was so deep, and she wasn’t sure she belonged. Could she trust the love Jesus offers? Did He even want her? We gathered around her with love and assurance and God crumbled her defensive veneer. She stepped forward with us, and with tears flowing, we remembered how Jesus offered up His broken body and poured out His life blood for us.
I was still in deep pain but I had a renewed hope that God held us in His loving hands. Even though the healing journey would be painful, He would be with us every step of the way. And He has been, even though there were countless times when I felt like He had abandoned me. In hindsight I can see He was there even in those dark times of despair.
As one of the projects, each of us had a piece of construction paper with our name written in the middle of it and uplifting stickers on it. We were to write an encouragement or praise on everyone’s page. After we went home, the leaders sent our page to us. I still have it.
As I reread all the kind remarks, there is one that I want to pass on to you:
“Keep talking. Don’t allow Satan to take anymore from you than he has. You know where your power lies. In the Creator of the universe, the Creator of you. Call on His healing. He loves you, (insert your name here), and so do I.”
If you have been abused, in whatever way, don’t let Satan silence you or discourage you with his lies. Don’t let him rob you of your God-given voice. His power is nothing compared to God who created you. God has the power and the willingness to heal you. He even finds joyous delight in healing you.
There have been times in my life when I felt like a bruised and bleeding body tossed to the side of the road. No one saw me and no one cared. Then Jesus tenderly picked me up and held me to His bosom, cradling me with His love and compassion. He desires to do that for each of us again and again.
The healing process can be long and painful and downright overwhelming, but He is right beside us longing for us to trust Him as our Safe Refuge, to allow His grace to heal us, and to open our hearts to His love.
The next time you see a rainbow, whether in the sky or in a photo, remember God is faithful and always keep His promises. He will never abandon you. He is beside you even on those days when you can’t “feel” Him or see His signs.
“For no matter how many promises God has made,
they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him
the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.”
2 Corinthians 1:20
“Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds,
I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant
between God and all living creatures
of every kind on the earth.”
“So be strong and courageous!
Do not be afraid and do not panic before them.
For the Lord your God will personally go ahead of you.
He will neither fail you nor abandon you.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 NLT
“Tell Your Heart To Beat Again”
by Danny Gokey
“Tell your heart to beat again
Close your eyes and breathe it in
Let the shadows fall away
Step into the light of grace…
Let every heartbreak
And every scar
Be a picture that reminds you
Who has carried you this far…”