“Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.” ~ Genesis 9:16
“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
As long as I am living
my baby you’ll be.”
~ Children’s Book – “Love You Forever”
Lately in our household there has been a game of sorts between our daughter, Carrie Ann, and the rest of us where she’ll ask us one-by-one to share how much we love our 9 month old, yellow Labrador puppy named Lily. No matter how much we say we love her, Carrie is convinced she loves our dog even more, and the way she expresses it is to say, “I love Lily a bunch, and a bunch, and a bunch, and a bunch… and a half, and a half, and a half… and a bunch, and a bunch, and a bunch…” You get the picture. She can go on and on like this for a few minutes.
The other crazy thing about this is that this conversation usually comes up in regards to how much we love Lily even though she’s done a number of naughty things around our house since we’ve gotten her (i.e. “We love Lily even though she’s destroyed 3 of her collars we’ve bought her, however many toys, still nips at us and our clothes, and loves to play tug-of-war, even though the rest of us don’t all that much”). This conversation has also gotten us talking about how God always loves us no matter how we might do things wrong or what he doesn’t want us to in our lives. Something in each of us, about each one of us, etc. can’t help but make God smile and feel his love toward us, regardless of the wrong we’ve done and will do.
One morning, just over a week ago, I was trying to have my morning quiet time with God as I drank my coffee and had breakfast. I’ve made a habit of doing this every morning for quite some time, but it’s not always so quiet in our household when I would like it to be. This particular morning my kids (ages 4 & 2) were already awake and being pretty loud, and Lily was getting riled up (barking and whining) downstairs with all the commotion. This is something I am never too fond of early in the morning. For those of you who have experienced me in the morning, you know that I like things to get off to a gradual start most days. I am not too interested in talking to anyone too soon. I want things quiet, peaceful and serene for about the first hour or so I am awake (just ask my college roommate who woke me up from a nap one afternoon when we still lived together 😉 ).
This particular morning, I started to get frustrated with all the commotion, but that all changed when I read in my Bible from the story of when God makes a covenant with Noah after the flood (Genesis 9:8-17). God causes a rainbow to appear in the sky and says whenever he sees one appear in the clouds, he’ll remember his everlasting covenant with all creation, and basically won’t be able to hold back his love he has for all of us. Suddenly then, I had the thought of how much I love both of my kids no matter if I might scream at them or get angry with them at any given time. Often all it takes is just a look at their faces, the sound of their laugh or voice, or a saying they commonly say, and I am once again smitten with love over my children. That got me thinking that these sort of things are like Everyday Rainbows, and I pondered certain things that just might make God smile over me and be reminded of his everlasting love for me as well.
All of this reminds me of a book my mom read to me as a kid called “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch. I’ve read this book quite often to my own kids, and in it the mother crawls across the floor of her son’s bedroom each night, looks up over the side of his bed, and picks him up and rocks him back and forth, back and forth, back and forth… All the while singing the words quoted above from the story, no matter how crazy her son might have driven her earlier that day. Each night while looking upon her son as he sleeps she recalls her love for him and sings (see Zephaniah 3:17).
If you’re so inclined, you can follow this link to a song called “You Love Me Anyway” by the Sidewalk Prophets— https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-my_teHfY2M