A preacher walking through the slums of a great city noticed two small children standing on the sidewalk starting intently at the gutter. “What did you loose?” he asked them. “Mister, we ain’t lost nuthin,” the little girl answered. “Me and my brother found something.” “What have you found then?” the preacher wanted to know. The little girl smiled and said, “A rainbow! See it?” Sure enough, oil runoff from a nearby gas station, floating on the surface of the water, was refracting the sun’s light in glorious rainbow colors. The children were right. They found a rainbow in the gutter!
We may find glory in unexpected places. Consider some rainbows we can find if we look . . .
1. The Birth of Christ Was A Rainbow In the Gutter Of Human Hopelessness. Jesus was born into a world which was lost and helpless to do anything about it (Romans 5:6). Seneca, one of the greatest Greek philosophers, summed up the bleak condition of humanity: “None of us has strength to rise; and O, that someone would stretch out a hand (and lift us up)” God stretched out a hand at Bethlehem. Talk about ―glory in unsuspected places‖! What could have been more like a rainbow in the gutter than the circumstances of Christ’s birth???? No room in the inn….born in a stable….a feed box for a bed….But it was there in dirt and dung among poor and despised people that the glory of the Lord was revealed!!!!
2. The Cross Is A Rainbow In The Gutter of Our Sinfulness. Jesus tasted death for every man (Hebrews 2:9). In Him we have redemption through His blood (Ephesians 1:7). He paid a debt He did not owe, to cancel a debt we could not pay! (John 19:30). A rainbow unites heaven and earth, but its arch is in the sky. The cross is God’s rainbow, spanning heaven and earth and uniting God and man together. By His cross Christ bridged the gap that separated us from God!
3. The Church Is A Rainbow In The Gutter Of This Hostile World. The world is a bleak, inhospitable place to grace. Evil surrounds us….We often seem to be living in some modern Pergamos “where Satan’s throne is” (Revelation 2:13). We find ourselves in a grim, ceaseless struggle “against principalities and powers, against spiritual wickedness in high places, against the rulers of the darkness of this world (Ephesians 6:12). But God has given us a fortress, a place of refuge. The church is that place of hope and help and warm fellowship! It is a place where we can find grace to help in time of need. The gates of hell will never prevail against it and all spiritual blessings are in it! (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 1:3, 20, 22).
I am thankful that we serve a God Who seeds the storm with rainbows. In the long ago, He said, “I set my bow in the cloud and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between me and earth….” (Genesis 9:13).
Now He wants us to open our eyes to see the rainbows — to learn to walk by faith and not by sight! If your life is in the gutter — apart from God, burdened by guilt — there’s a rainbow of hope for you! The grace of God has appeared to all men! (Titus 2:11) You need to surrender to it in obedient faith! (Romans 6:3-4; 17).
Bobby Dockery, Searcy, AK