I mentioned in my last entry that I just returned from a brief visit to Alaska. I traveled with a team of trainers to conduct a of leadership seminar. We stayed in the town of North Pole where the street lights were naturally shaped as candy canes.I enjoyed the local cuisine: moose chili! It was actually very good!It was a lovely time of fellowship and ministry with dear friends and gifted leaders.
Right before I left there was a amazing rainbow in the sky. I’ve never seen rainbows like those in Alaska. They are brilliant in color and scope. It was not the first time I had been privileged to experience the beautiful spectrum in this rugged land. I wrote about an Alaskan rainbow from a previous trip in the book The One Year Yellow Ribbon Devotional.
ALL AROUND HIM WAS A GLOWING HALO, LIKE A RAINBOW SHINING IN THE CLOUDS ON A RAINY DAY. THIS IS WHAT THE GLORY OF THE LORD LOOKED LIKE TO ME. WHEN I SAW IT, I FELL FACE DOWN ON THE GROUND, AND I HEARD SOMEONE’S VOICE SPEAKING TO ME. –EZEKIEL 1:28 NLT
Each time I have visited Alaska I have had a memorable experience. It is a place where the glory of the Lord is evident in the beauty of nature. On my last visit I was speaking at a conference on the topic of heaven. One side of the room was banked with picture windows that held the view of a sparkling lake, golden autumn trees and majestic mountains topped with the first snow of the season. It was a sight to behold. In spite of this tempting view the attendees blessed me with their attention. That is, until the last night. Following my introduction I noticed people turning their heads toward the window. It was evident they were trying hard to keep their attention focused on the message I was attempting to share. There was a murmur in the audience that caused me to finally turn my head to see what was causing the distraction. What I saw totally arrested me!
The sun was glimmering on the lake which caused the golden leaves on the trees and snow on the tops of the mountains to literally sparkle. But that wasn’t the thing that caught us all off guard. Out of the center of all of this was the most brilliant rainbow I have ever seen. As a speaker I did the only thing I could think of, I shut my mouth and led the audience outside. There we saw the rainbow completely surrounded the area where we stood. Together we basked in the beauty of the moment and spontaneously joined in singing the chorus “How Great Is Our God.”
The military spouses in attendance at this conference were far from home, many of them were experiencing the fatigue that accompanies a long-term deployment. We had gathered for a time of encouragement and challenge as sisters in Christ. It truly was as if the Lord was saying, “We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming for a word from our sponsor.” We had spent the weekend talking about the hope of heaven. To us this display of majesty was confirmation of the gracious promise of God that his covenant with us remains true. Today’s scripture references Ezekiel’s vision of the throne of God. It is the same as John’s vision in Revelation 4:3 and holds the promise for us as Christ followers that one day we will view his throne surrounded with a rainbow. What I saw in Alaska is only a taste of the beauty we will behold in heaven! It can’t come soon enough! What a day that will be!
Lord, as I view the beauty of creation, open my eyes to see your hand in all your works and help me to serve you with joy and gladness. Amen.
(Brenda Pace and Carol McGlothlin, One Year®Yellow Ribbon Devotional, Taking a Stand in Prayer for our Nation and those Who Serve. Tyndale House, Carol Stream, Ill. 2008. Entry for September 20.)
©Brenda Pace, 2010