It shall be, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the rainbow shall be seen in the cloud.
During this unusual period that we are going through, in which many people will sadly be bereaved, there is no easy or short-cut way out of the ache and pain of human loss for those who have loved deeply.
However faith can, and does, triumph and it can hold on to God even as the numbness of grief grips the soul. From time to time the Lord sends us a rainbow in the midst of the rain and He often gives us a sweet kiss on the cheek when we need it most.
Here is a true story recorded in my Bible reading notes which I read some time ago and found very helpful. It was based on studies in Psalm 88:
An elderly couple were sitting in Princes Street Gardens, in Edinburgh, and a young woman passed by them. The man followed her, touched her and spoke, apologising for the intrusion, and told her that he and his wife were disconsolate over the death of their only daughter in South Africa. Something about the woman as she passed by them reminded them of their daughter. Would she, he asked, mind turning and waving to his wife before she went on her way? His wife felt, that in some way she could not explain, this would give her a measure of peace and let her feel as if she had managed to say goodbye to her daughter for the last time. Deeply touched, the woman did more. She went to the bench, leaned over and kissed the old lady’s cheek. For a moment a hand held hers. Then she walked away, turned at the end of the path and waved, her eyes filled with tears, before she walked out of the couple’s sight.
That was God’s secret care, coming graciously and gently to the sorrowing couple, tenderly ministering to their needs in such an unexpected way. When there are some pains and distresses to be endured and not delivered from – then this kind of thing can happen, and the rainbow is seen in the cloud.
O Joy, that seekest me through pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
and feel the promise is not vain
that morn shall tearless be.
Bill Hughes (Christ Church Deeside)