What Makes a Rainbow?


Double rainbowWho doesn’t love to see a rainbow in the sky?

Rainbows are caused, according to Wikipedia, ” by reflection, refraction and dispersion of light in water droplets resulting in a spectrum of light appearing in the sky. It takes the form of a multicoloured circular arc. Rainbows caused by sunlight always appear in the section of sky directly opposite the sun.”

Sometimes the scientific explanation is too much for me. A statement I recently heard on the radio summed it up better, saying that when God created light, He created all the colors of the rainbow. Without light, we would have no colors.

Typically when we see a rainbow, it’s after a rain shower or storm. Perhaps that makes it even more beautiful. As my husband once told me, “You have to first walk in the rain to enjoy the sun.”

It’s easy to take the good things in life for granted, even neglecting the importance of gratitude. A little rain or a monster storm can either dampen our spirits or make us more appreciative when the sunshine returns.

Right now in southwestern Florida, we really need rain. Things are very dry and the danger of wildfires is high. Meanwhile, in Minnesota and Iowa, our family and friends were hit with at least a foot of snow over the weekend. On Facebook, I’ve seen complaints about the extended winter, jokes about spring being postponed indefinitely, and photos showing the beauty of snow covering the grass and trees.

Having lived through 25 Minnesota winters, I know that snow on the ground throughout the winter is more enjoyable than a bare, brown landscape. It’s all about perspective. (Granted, mid-April is a bit late for that much snow!)

When the first rainbow appeared following the flood that covered the earth, God told Noah, “Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember my everlasting promise to every living animal on earth” (Genesis 9:16, GW).

When we see a rainbow–whether or not we understand the science that causes it–we can remember God’s faithfulness. And when we go through the storms of life, we can look for the blessings in the storm and trust the rainbow of beauty will come after the storm.