The Meaning of A Rainbow

Rainbow of Tulips (2016) by Sherri Woodbridge
Rainbow of Tulips (2016) by Sherri Woodbridge

Generally, when you see a rainbow, clouds are not too far away. To see a rainbow, you need sunlight and raindrops. Like glass prisms, raindrops break sunlight into different colors and reflect it to make a rainbow.

Some say that the rainbow comes after the storm. While that is true, it is also true that rainbows can come during the wake of a storm.

After God turned off the floodgates of the great flood, He told Noah that He would put a rainbow in the sky to serve as a reminder that never again would He destroy the earth by a flood. (See Genesis 9 in the Old Testament)

The rainbow was and still is a reminder of God’s patience to a fallen world. It is a reminder of His faithfulness. It is a symbol of His mercy and His grace and it is a symbol of peace.

Our warrior God, the One who fights for us, hung up his bow in the sky and promised to all humanity that never again would He send a flood to destroy the earth. He didn’t need the reminder – we did. A reminder of His faithfulness. A reminder of patience and of His grace.

When the storms in our life threaten to take us out to sea, raging wild, causing us to fear for our lives, it is sometimes easy to feel God has forgotten us and has left us to drown. But then the skies part just a teensy-weensy bit and what do we see? Raindrops. Millions of raindrops and one humongous rainbow. A reminder that He is in control. A reminder that He is faithful. A reminder that He is a God.

You can’t view a rainbow unless the sun is behind you. The light has to break through the prism of raindrops so a rainbow can been seen. And so it does. And so it will. The light of the sun breaks through the raindrops that have pounded hard upon us, trying to break us down and leave us feeling hopeless. And when the light passes through those drops of rain, it bends to create a beautiful rainbow.

How many times have you seen a rainbow and seemed to feel better? Either because you were awestruck by its beauty or because you were reminded of God’s faithfulness? He put that beauty in the sky for us, so that we would remember HE is in control. That He always keeps His promises.

There may still be clouds hovering above. There may be rain pouring down, but look for the Son and you’ll find a rainbow and there you will also find… Peace.
Did you know…
Because the raindrops are always ‘moving, the way we see the rainbow is constantly changing, and as two people cannot occupy the same place in space at the same time, every body sees a different rainbow. So, every time you see a rainbow, it’s God’s personal reminder to you that He never changes and He’s right there with you through the storms.

Why Me?

imageIf you have PD, chances of asking the question, ‘Why me?’ may have popped into your head on one occasion or another. You may ask why and I suppose my answer to you would be what an older gentleman once said to me.

I was raking my front lawn one afternoon when my neighbor walked over. A few months prior, he had shared with me that he had found he had cancer. On that day, he stood on the other side of the fence telling me how he picked my sweet peas on occasion for his wife. He was a gruff gentleman, around sixty, and had been diagnosed with a form of leukemia that was rapid in its quest to win his life. He fought his fight well with that disease but eventually, and sadly, he passed away.

As he approached me that afternoon, he took a seat on the back of my son’s truck tailgate and began to talk. In the conversation he said, “I was walking over here to see what you’d say to me when I asked you why you thought God allowed this to happen to me. But, I think I just figured it out.” He paused thoughtfully and then said, “Why not me?”

When we ask the question, Why me?, Sometimes it seems we are saying we’re above everyone else. That perhaps someone else deserves this unfortunate situation, but not me.

So – why not me? Why someone else and not me? That’s a tough, hard question – either one. We’d not wish PD, nor any disease, on anyone else, so why us? We would not wish our loved ones to suffer in any form, so why them? And yet… Why me?  Tough. Hard.

All I know is that for some divine (yes, divine) reason I was meant to walk this journey and so… Why not me? Why not run when I can, stumble when I will, fall is I may? Why not breathe it all in while I can, to the best of my ability, not knowing what tomorrow’s may be? Why not glean what wisdom gather, sow what encouragement that will be soaked up, walk beside another struggling more than I? Why focus on the what-ifs, the unknowns, the faceless fears, the why-mes, which only lead to self-absorption? I’ve been there. It ain’t pretty.

I’d much rather breathe each moment focusing on the outward, not focusing inward. That does not mean that I’m refusing or denying the fact that this disease is wreaking havoc on the inner workings of this temporary shell they call a body, but that I’d rather focus on others that I can still be an encouragement to, help some one on their own unique journey, or in some way, no matter how small, be an inspiration for someone else. Because after all, we are all chosen for some thing, for some time, for some reason, so – why not me?

Some statistics you may not know:  It’s been proven that gender plays a role in the development of PD. It’s also been proven that men are at a higher risk. It’s believed that estrogen plays a part in this as it plays a role in protecting a woman’s body from chemical changes that occur with PD.

That being the case, women who have undergone hysterectomies can be at a higher risk. And, if that is true, then in all probability, women who choose estrogen replacement therapy can run a lower risk compared to other women in the same age bracket.

Caucasians are at a greater risk than African Americans or Asian Americans.

Family history plays a part if a family member with Parkinson’s disease had symptoms develop before the age of 40. If PD was diagnosed in later years, there was not a higher risk to family members.

PD can happen to anyone, whether they fall into the higher risk groups or not. And, if that’s true, than the opposite can be said – if you fall into the higher risk groups, that doesn’t guarantee you’ll get PD. We may as well just state the facts:  Anyone can get PD. Anyone can get cancer or a cold. The important thing to remember is to enjoy the now. It’s the only time you’re guaranteed.

For more information on today’s stats, please visit: The Better Health Centre.

POSSIBLE symptoms of FINDING OUT you have Parkinson’s Disease

imageMaybe you’ve had a finger twitch for a while. Or maybe, just maybe, one of your arms hasn’t been swinging when you’re walking. Or maybe you can’t smell stinky things anymore. So you head to the doc and the doc takes one look at you and determines it’s all in your head. It’s a thing called Parkinson’s disease and the symptoms of FINDING OUT you have Parkinson’s disease now begin.

You are most likely in shock. If this normal, immediate reaction isn’t what you have, then you are probably relieved.

Relieved, you ask? Well, if you are like several others who have been diagnosed with this disease, you have probably gone to several doctors, covering several miles over several years to get several opinions to finally find out it’s one thing: Parkinson’s. Initially, you are relieved. However, once the truth sets in, so do the all too real symptoms of finding out you have PD.

Grief can overwhelm you, leaving you feeling as if you have lost something significant, valuable, irreplaceable. And you have – your life, as you once knew it. However, just because you have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, doesn’t mean your life as you once knew it is over. And just because you see others with PD struggling unimaginably doens’t mean you will. It does,  however, some things are and will change. But it’s hard to say what precisely will change, as each individual journey with Parkinson’s disease is different.

Anger is a real and possible symptom of PD. Maybe that is how boxing came to be known as a great exercise for PD. Sometimes you need a healthy outlet to get out what’s bottled up inside.

A renewed heart and mind, a change of outlook, and/or a positive attitude can be common among those diagnosed with a disease such as Parkinson’s. You realize the value of each moment, of each day and you find you love life just a little bit more than you did before because you realize things can change in an instant.

One symptom I think we can say we all face – and even struggle with – is fear. It is natural to wonder what it will be like as the disease progresses, what we will be like, how others will see us, what others will think, will we be a burden, and so much more. We struggle with the aspect of fear because, if we have faith in God, we may feel our faith is wimpy if we succumb those feelings. But the thing about fear is that it can drive us closer to the Lord, knowing that He is with us through the dark valleys, leading us to green pastures and still waters to restore our soul.

No matter what your “finding out” symptoms may be, there is nothing more comforting than knowing that He is faithful to be with us through it all, no matter how big, no matter how small.


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