In Genesis chapters 5 through 9, the story is told of how evil the people on earth became and how God spoke to a man named Noah, and told him to build an ark, which would save Noah and his family and a sampling of every animal, when God flooded the earth. The author of the Advent Jesse Tree pointed out that "the ark was Noah's salvation just as Jesus is our ark. In Him alone can we be saved." After the rain stopped and the land dried up, God gave Noah and his family a rainbow to symbolize His covenant with them and his promise to never bring such a flood on the earth again. The devotion author said, "Promises are made by God and are eternal. They are always full of grace." The rainbow was a sign of redemption and still reminds us of God's promises today.
In September of 1989, when I was just out of college and had moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, on a short-term missions assignment (I know, "suffering for Jesus" in Hawaii), I had taken a huge step of faith and had left all of my comforts: family, friends, boyfriend, familiar surroundings. I remember flying into Honolulu and getting ready to meet the people I was going to work with there. I was nervous and kind of apprehensive about what I'd signed up to do. After I had met up with my coworkers at the airport and we were driving to where I would live, I looked up in the sky and saw a double rainbow! To me, it was God's assurance that He was with me and that things were going to be OK there. I won't lie and tell you that my entire three months there was wonderful. It actually was a hard time of soul-searching, disappointment and homesickness. But, God was with me there, just as He promised.
I'm so thankful that God keeps His promises and that He had a plan to save me and all of us from our sinfulness. I'm thankful for His reminders to us of His faithfulness and that we can remember these things as we prepare for Christmas.