On a walk in the arboretum near my house, I again spotted my rainbow in the spray. I wanted to get a better look, so I moved past the tree to my right, and the rainbow disappeared!
A step back to my previous position and the rainbow returned. In order to see the rainbow, I had to be in the right place and to be looking in the right direction.
And to see the promises of God, I also need spiritually to be in the right place and to be looking in the right direction. When Paul says, "Think on these things..." (Phil 4:8), it is an instruction to us - "Do this... Think this..." God would not instruct us to do something if we would not be able to do it.
Years ago, my friend Ashley, the one with the great hair, went through a difficult time. Tests revealed that the baby she was carrying was very sick, a chromosome anomoly. It was uncertain how long her baby would live. Ashley was faced with worries most of us could never imagine. To combat her fears, she put Paul's words to the test. She decided to make a list of "whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent or praiseworthy." As she wrote, she realized that she didn't even have to go past "true." With Ashley's permission, here is her list:
Whatever is true:
1. The Lord gives strength to His people
2. The Lord blesses His people with peace Ps. 29:11
3. For You created my inmost being. You knit me together in my mother's womb Ps.139:13
4. For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, "Do not fear. I will help you." Isaiah 41:13
5. He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. Job5:9
6. Jesus turned and said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to Me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." Matthew 16:23
Whatever is noble:
1. This is what God the Lord says-
He who created the heavens and stretches them out
Who spread out the earth and all that comes out of it
Who gives breath to its people and life to those who walk on it:
I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness
I will take hold of your hand. Isaiah 42:5-6
2. For God is the King of all the earth
Sing to Him a psalm of praise
God reigns over the nations
God is seated on His holy throne. Psalm 47:7,8
For the remainder of her pregnancy and baby Laura's short life, Ashley's list kept her thoughts from racing in a downward spiral. Throughout her trial, Ashley and her husband were beacons of light to those around them. At the funeral, the pastor said that baby Laura was like a shooting star that he and his family saw while star-gazing on a recent camping trip. For a brief moment, all attention was given to this shooting star. And for a brief while, with all attention on Laura and her family, God's light in them shone in the darkness. In their grief, they were able to comfort others with the comfort they received from the Lord. 2 Cor. 1:3-4
Be in the right place and be looking in the right direction, and the promises of God will be all you can see!