montana thunder storm

as i look out over the calm, glassy water of the lake where my family and i are vacationing this morning, i'm at peace. i just ate breakfast and watched my church's service online simultaneously (you gotta love technology), so i've been fed both physically and spiritually.  i'm energized, inspired and ready to take on the day, which will include a kayak, a boat ride, reading, swimming, sunshine and possibly rain. most likely rain. i should say 'more' rain because we've had lots of it lately.  as a matter of fact,  last night we witnessed a true montana thunder storm!  it was quite the epic display of thunder and lightning, hail and rain.  montana was definitely showing off.
as we were driving to the lake last night, we apparently passed some friends on the road.  i know this because my friend texted me later that evening and said, "we passed you on the road tonight...looked like you were heading into the abyss!"  and she was right.  the sky was very dark, and getting darker by the minute.  now, that might sound normal to those of you who've never been to montana...or alaska.... but you have to understand: when i say darker, i don't mean because it's getting later. you see, it doesn't get dark here in the summer until 10 pm or so.  earlier in the summer it's closer to 11!!  it was only 7 or so last night when we were driving. so the darkness was coming not from the time of night, but from the impending storm clearly building in the black clouds hanging directly over the lake.  we were indeed driving straight into what looked like the abyss!  the rain came quickly.  big, fat drops of water that started one at a time and then fell so fast the windshield wipers could barely keep up.  we could see the wind stirring the water on the lake, causing the color to deepen to a dark, dark blue matching the darkness of the sky.  and it was then that i saw it: a rainbow. then another one. 2 rainbows!! they were right next to each other and they seemed to touch the waters edge and reach all the way up beyond the clouds.  it didn't seem right.  first of all, don't you usually see one at a time? i mean, if you're fortunate to see one at all.  and then aren't rainbows usually in the shape of, well, a rainbow? an arch, right? not a pillar or vertical column of color stretching thru the sky.  and number 3, don't rainbows usually appear after a storm?  now i'm sure that i am not the first one to ever see rainbows appear in this way.  i'm certain that i have not just made some spectacular scientific discovery that will win me a prize of some kind.  what i am certain of, however, is the fact that this rainbow appeared in the midst of the storm.  and i was immediately made aware of Gods promise to me in the midst of the storms of my life.  he doesn't wait until i've come through it, he doesn't wait until it's over to let me know he's there. he reminds me in the middle of what i'm going through.  his promise is forever true, always faithful, consistently calling to mind his ability to hold me fast in that storm. in spite of the chaos of the lightning lighting up the sky, the thunder crashing and booming, the rain and hail hurling down onto the roof of our car, that double-rainbow just hung there as a beacon of hope and promise.  whatever storm you're in the middle of in your life today, know that God's promise of protection hangs and hovers over you.
(psalm after psalm speaks of God's protection, comfort, rescue, and promise... pick one to read and remember as your own today)