So God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant I have established between me and all life on earth. Genesis 9:17
Wednesday afternoon, I sat at the kitchen table with my son Mark, a senior in high school who is a young man ready to explore the world and chase down some big dreams. We talked of the future, his hopes and concerns as he prepares to go to college. Rain fell outside the windows from a gray sky filled with low clouds.
During a break in our conversation, he checked the weather radar and announced, “The sun will be shining in ten minutes.” He left his chair to gather his camera and other gear usually used for chasing storms and said on his way out the door, “I’m going to go chase a rainbow.”
Mark, the aspiring meteorologist, shifted out of our common world of questions and planning to move into the wistful world of adventure and dreaming. He’s on his way to chase a rainbow. I wonder if in that moment my teenage son heard the Lord’s voice more clearly than many of us do in our entire lifetimes. He heard a call to adventure and discovery, places to look for the misty colors in the air, and to journey to the beginning of some new endeavor. The beginning may appear so translucent he may not realize he stands in it until the clouds break and multi-colored sunlight shimmers over him.
Way back at the beginning, in Genesis 9, God extended the same invitation to Noah. “Be a rainbow chaser,” God said in his institution of this new sign. ‘I establish my covenant with you . . . this is the sign of the covenant . . . for all generations to come. I have set my rainbow in the clouds and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth” (Genesis 9:11-13).
God calls the rainbow his. “I have set my rainbow in the clouds.” He knows its beginning and ending. He knows the span of its stretch, and he knows the meaning of its appearance. The rainbow is a sign of his promise. God promises to preserve our lives, to offer salvation, and to cover us with his protection.
The invitation he offered Noah goes out to us today. “Watch for my sign of the covenant I have made with you,” God says. “I promise to help you and watch over you. I grant you my favor and will spare you from destruction.”
Our journeys of faith are chases after rainbows. Those misty arches of promise fill us with hope and draw us to the place where ethereal vapors bend down to meet our world of question and struggle. Herein lies the adventure. Can we hear the call to live in covenant with a holy God? And when we do, are we ready to chase after him, believing in him as our only source of salvation?
When we find him, all the fullness of his rich promises become ours. Not only have we chased after a rainbow, but we’ve found and claimed it.
“Chase hope. Chase after life, chase my promises. Chase me,” God says.