It was on the drive to Cleveland, not knowing what news awaited us, that Pat noticed a beautiful rainbow peeking out from the clouds. The day was sunny and bright; which is very rare in Western New York these dark winter days. There had been no rain and no snow. Just bright sun...and a rainbow. The sign in the sky of God's covenant promise to Noah and to His people. When I saw the rainbow I felt as though the Lord gave me a little glimpse that everything would be alright. This was just a little bump in the road and soon all would be well again. We would get to Cleveland Clinic and Mom would be out of surgery, resting. The Lord would touch Betty with His healing hands and she would be on the road to recovery in no time. As it was, we received a call from Pat's brother that she was stable, and would be in ICU for the night. I felt confident the Lord had placed the rainbow in the sky for us to hold on to as hope. I believed it was a sign from Him, just for us, in our time of need.
Later, as I tried to find sleep, it became a very restless night for Pat and I. We tossed, turned and cried out to the Lord in prayer for her to life to be spared. I began making lists, in my mind, of all the reasons her family needed her here. There is her granddaughter, Allie's, wedding this summer, and her grandson, Matts, next summer. Grandma Luke would never miss them. She has been to every one of her grandkids weddings so far, so missing these is out of the question. She has seen all but one of her grandchildren graduate, she better stick around for that too. Did I fail to mention how much she loves spending time with her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. She has 17 grandchildren and 5 great. And what a gift she has with babies! When a baby is fussy, just hand them over to Grandma, she can calm them down. Betty's eyes light up when her kids walk through the door. She loves to play cards and board games with us. That is the routine following our meals together, clear the table and get the games out. Yes, there was still too much for her to do so she would make it. She simply had to.
Every time I stirred that long, long night, I would sense the nearness of the Lord. I would remember the rainbow and He began to show me that He set the rainbow in the sky as a reminder of His covenant with His people. He said; "The rainbow shall be in the cloud, and I will look on it to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth" (Genesis 9:16). Yes, He has made a covenant with His people, but what I began to hear Him speak to me that night were reminders like these: "...I will not leave you, nor forsake you" (Deut. 31:6). He promised me: "...though you will walk through the valley of the shadow of death," that.. "He was with me;" ... and He would "comfort" me. (Psalm 23:4). Matthew 5:4 came to mind, "Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted." Waking up the next morning I knew in my heart the Lord had begun to prepare me for the possibility He would call her home. It was a hard week, as there were glimpses of hope and then setbacks and then came the news that it was time to say goodbye. Goodbye, for now.
I am so thankful for the rainbow. Losing Momma Luke to death wasn't the answer we asked for, we wanted her to stay with us. But what we did have was a reminder placed high in the sky, peeking out from a cloud, that He would be with us through this difficult and heartbreaking time. We were reminded that we are part of a covenant made by a loving and gracious God and we could rest in Him, trust in Him and find our hope in Him. Hope for all eternity spent with Him and all those who have gone before us. I look forward to the reunion that day, but for now, as I wait, I look forward to the reminders He gives to each of us that He is there. Even through the beauty of a rainbow.
This song has meant so much to me this week. Maybe you are crying out to the Lord in prayer for a healing. Heartache is painful but "even if the healing doesn't come", remember, "He is God, He is Good and He is Faithful". <3