The rainbow is a symbol of God’s faithfulness and mercy. In the “rainbow around the throne,” ( Revelation 4:3 ) it is seen as the symbol of hope and the bright emblem of mercy and love, all the more true as a symbol because it is reflected from the storm itself.
In the Genesis account, a rainbow appears right after the great worldwide flood brought in order to remove sinful and evil-minded man from the earth. It symbolized God’s mercy and the covenant He made with Noah (representing mankind) not to destroy the world in such a way again.
What if the rainbow also symbolized grace?
Mercy and grace can be differentiated as follows: mercy is the act of withholding deserved punishment, while grace is the act of endowing unmerited favor. In His mercy, God does not give us punishment we deserve, namely hell; while in His grace, God gives us the gift we do not deserve, namely heaven. Mercy and grace are two sides of a coin – and the coin is love.
God’s love. God’s mercy. God’s grace.
These are the things that have changed me.
When I left my parents’ house I was a complete mess. From the outside looking in, I appeared to be ok. I was far from ok. The rot of living in such darkness was etched into the fiber of my being. You don’t walk away from houses like that without the stench of it’s betrayal living in the marrow of your bones.
They were bad, and now I was bad. That’s just how it was for me.
I lived a life of religion for many years. Married to one man for 17 years. I was a mom, sister, aunt and daughter. I did all the right things. I didn’t cuss. I didn’t smoke. I didn’t even drink back then. I was a good girl. I took the abuse that was dished out to me because that’s what a good Christian did.
Then, I got divorced, started cussing, drinking, going out and feeling my anger. I was anger at my ex-husband, my mother, my father, my siblings. I actually couldn’t think of a person I truly liked by the time I was 35.
I was a mess, but at least now I was starting to walk in the truth.
The more I walked away from religion and being a good Christian, the more I found God.
The more I sinned, the more I needed God’s grace and mercy for the things I’d done wrong. I was learning I needed His love to guide me. I wasn’t on auto-pilot anymore.
Ah, grace. It was my new found favorite thing.
What if I’d stayed that good Christian girl full of denial and anger? I needed no grace, because I wasn’t bad. I was so good that I accepted the abuse of everyone around me. I was living their life, not mine.
When I started living my own life, I made mistakes. I’ve been married four times, had affairs with married men, drank until the wee hours of the night, then sometimes woke up and did it all again.
Ah, yes, now I was living grace.