Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Storms and Rainbows

Today we were supposed to get away as a staff for the day for some bonding and such, but since the rain has decided to make itself prevalent in the evenings, the grass would be too wet where we were supposed to go. Thus, we retreated to Plan B--a morning of planning and an afternoon at Chitila. As much as I was looking forward to a day with the staff, I was also quite excited to be able to see the girls today.

Yesterday Bailey and I were asked to prepare the games and lesson for today (with the suggestion of life's storms and God's promises), so on the long car ride back from Tei yesterday, I gathered some thoughts that I wanted to share with the girls. I'll attach my lesson at the end of this post.

It was great to see the girls again today. One immediately took the ponytail out of my hair and French braided it--so sweet. They seemed to pay attention to the lesson quite well and they really enjoyed the craft (a rainbow craft that the CTL staff already had prepared). We also all enjoyed a few games afterward, although the hardwood floor was a bit much for the knees of those of us who are getting a bit older.

After Chitila, Bailey and I went to meet Eliza (my dear, dear friend and a former CTL staff member). She had a baby boy about six months ago, so I was beyond excited to see her again and meet her son. He is such a doll! It was seriously so great to just sit and chat and catch up--one of the greatest benefits of being here "on my own" or as an "intern" this time around. I love bringing teams, but it was definitely time to reconnect with my people here and maintain my dear friendships in this way. I really look forward to being able to see Eliza again before I leave.

Tomorrow is going to be another full day, so I must go get some rest, but I'll leave you with my lesson from today (I added a bit as I spoke, but here are the bones):

Rainbows and Storms

Has anyone ever experienced a storm or a problem in life? We all have. When we're in the middle of a storm, it looks dark all around. The clouds are thick above us. The rain is often pouring down. We don't know when the storm will end. And, we're often wet and cold and scared. In the same way, as we go through storms or problems or struggles in life, we are often scared and angry and hurt. We don't know when they will end. Sometimes we feel like they will never end.

But let's think for a minute about what happens when a storm stops. The rain isn't as heavy and then comes to a stop. The ground begins to dry up. The lightening and thunder are gone. The clouds thin out a bit and then the sun breaks through. At first it's just a tiny little ray of light, but eventually the clouds get farther and farther apart and the sun gets brighter and brighter. When that happens, what do we often see in the sky? A rainbow. Something beautiful after the storm. Soon, there is no evidence that a storm was ever there. All that is remaining are the flowers that were watered by the rain, the sign of new life.

In the same way, when we come out of a time of trial or struggle in our lives, the clouds begin to part, the sun begins to shine, and we can see a rainbow, even if it's just a small one far away in the sky. A rainbow is God's promise to us. After God flooded the earth and saved Noah and his family and the animals in the ark, He gave Noah a rainbow in the sky. He told Noah that it was a sign of His promise that He would never flood the earth again. God promised to take care of Noah, provide for him, and love him.

Genesis 9:13--I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

That same promise is true for us today. God promised to NEVER flood the earth again. That means that whatever storms we face in this life will NOT destroy us. They may be painful and difficult, but they will pass. There will be an end to them. At the end of every storm in our lives, there will be a rainbow. God promises YOU that he will take care of you and that he will love you. He will provide you with peace in every storm and trial.

 If I look back on my life, I see many many storms. I can see dark times where I was sad and angry and scared. Sometimes those storms seemed like they would never end. But, they ALWAYS do. God always takes care of me and clears the storms in my life in his timing. Sometimes storms last for a few weeks, and sometimes they last for a few years. I'm in the middle of a big storm right now. But, God always provides a rainbow of hope and peace for me. He asks me to trust in Him, and I do, even when I don't understand what He's doing.

Just because we trust in God and love Him, doesn't mean we will have easy perfect lives. Most of the people in the Bible had really difficult lives. I know most of us have difficult lives. God doesn't promise that following Him will be easy, but He promises that He will always be with us. He promises that He will take care of us and love us.

So, if you're going through a storm right now, remember that it will come to an end. Your rainbow is coming. Keep trusting in God and loving Him. He will help you through it.

And, if you're not in a storm right now, if your life is going well right now, remember that it won't always be like that. Storms will come. They always do. We will go through times with storms and times with clear beautiful skies, but God is there through all of it. Life is a series of storms followed by rainbows and clear skies. The good news is that God never leaves us. The God of Noah and the Ark is the same God that woke you up this morning, the same God that gives you breath, and He has a plan for your life! He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hold on to His promises. Rest in His love.

Hebrews 13:9 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Thanks for keeping up with the blog and thanks for praying! The iubesc! 

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