Painter of Masterpieces

By Marcy Barthelette

Thursday, August 26: Tonight God gave us another gift during our evening walk. It had been a day of especially hard news. COVID 19 cases were up definitively all across Missouri, the news cycle regarding unrest across our nation was certainly not encouraging and a couple of personal interactions had been disturbing. I was feeling quite irrelevant and more than a little helpless. A good brisk walk was just what I needed to clear my head and accomplish an attitude adjustment. Ken commented that there might be another good sunset but I was skeptical. Its beginnings were not impressive.

I had prayed hard that afternoon for clarity in all the troubles facing our world and for some kind of inspiration for my upcoming article. As we walked, something suddenly prompted us to glance over our shoulders. There, draped across the southeastern sky, stood the most incredible rainbow we had ever seen. Soon a second rainbow appeared to its right and finally, the arch extended all across the sky and came to rest above a field to our left. The colors intensified more and more as the sun fell toward the western horizon. We pulled our phones from our pockets and snapped image after image. As we turned to check for approaching traffic before stepping farther into the road, we were greeted by another splash of color across the western sky. I had thought the sunset would be unspectacular that night and I couldn’t have been more wrong. It was magnificent! We strolled in awe for probably 15 minutes, snapping photos first of the rainbow and then of the sunset. The gift was breathtaking and rare. The intensity of color and the extensive timeframe made it priceless. I knew that we had just experienced worship far beyond what any words can convey! I couldn’t help feeling a little like Noah must have felt when God made His covenant in Genesis 9:12-15….

And God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow

in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth.

Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds,

I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures

of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life.

Science tells us that a rainbow is a meteorological phenomenon caused by reflection, refraction, and dispersion of light in water droplets that results in a spectrum of color appearing in the sky. Rainbows caused by sunlight always occur on the opposite side of the sky from the sun. A primary rainbow displays red on the outer side and violet on the inner side. Where a double rainbow occurs that pattern is reversed because of the way the light is refracted from the water droplets.

This, of course, is a simplification of the scientific process and I am grateful that men and women were given the gifts of discovery that have enabled the control or elimination of many diseases, the ability to travel into space, to understand the marvels of our natural world and the things we must do to protect it. But beyond all of that is the reality that God enabled all these things, he created everything that exists from absolutely nothing. Though we believe in His miracles, we don’t truly comprehend them. We have a thing called faith that allows us to believe His word that He will always be with us. I was certainly enveloped in His loving arms that evening in a visible display of His love for all mankind.

Though artists try to replicate His masterpieces, there is always a little something missing, so when He sweeps His giant brush across the sky in a perfect arch of amazing hues or breaks the dawn with a flood of light to brighten our days or paints the western horizon in twilight color bold enough to impress even the most skeptical of humans, remember that He promised to always be there and His promises are good.

I’ll end with my absolute favorite verse in all of God’s Holy Word, Jeremiah 29:11, in several different versions:

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.   Jeremiah (NIV)

I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace not disaster,

to give you a future filled with hope. Jeremiah (CEB)

I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out – plans to take care of you, not abandon you,

plans to give you the future you hope for. (MSG)

What else is left to say?

One Response to “Painter of Masterpieces”


    BEAUTIFUL! I love your commentaries.

Leave a Reply