Summary: There are rainbows everywhere, but the most amazing rainbow on record is the one the Apostle John saw in heaven. Here is the only permanent rainbow that exists. They fade so fast on earth, but this one is part of the furniture of heaven. It is part of the presence of God.
I never realized how many rainbows there are in the world, until our trip to the West
Coast. We would get up early to travel before the Sun came up. When it did come up it was at
out back, and it was at just the right angle when we went past the irrigation systems. The light
of the Sun hit that spraying water and produced more rainbows than I have ever seen in my
life. There were irrigation systems with water spraying everywhere, and we were
overwhelmed by the constant series of rainbows we were seeing. When we came back the
same way we did not see them. The light has to be at just the right angle or they cannot be
seen. I was so impressed by these earthly rainbows that I decided to do some research on the
heavenly rainbow around the throne of God.
William Wordsworth was a great lover of the outdoors and especially of the rainbow. He wrote,
My heart leaps up when I behold
A rainbow in the sky;
So was it when my life began
So is it now I am a man;
So be it when I shall grow old,
Or let me die!
Another great poet, Longfellow, tells us of the Indian boy Hiawatha, who used to gaze in
rapt admiration upon the rainbow because Nakomis taught him-
Tis the heaven of flowers you see there
All the wild flowers of the forest,
All the lilies of the prairie,
When on earth they fade and perish
Blossom in that heaven above us!
Here is a beautiful Indian tradition that says none of nature's beauty is lost, but is
preserved in the beauty of heaven, as symbolized by the rainbow. This has always been a
Christian tradition too, that all the beauty that God made in time will be preserved in
eternity. Flowers will, therefore, be a part of heaven. The rainbow has always been linked with
flowers. In Greek, the word rainbow is iris. Iris was a Greek goddess, who rode the rainbow.
The iris flower is sometimes called the rainbow flower. All over the world the rainbow is
admired. In Japan it is called the Floating Bridge of Heaven. In Hawaii it is called the path to
the upper world. It is the plaything of children and adults. Many can identify with the
humorous poet who wrote,
"I went to set the sprinkler--the sun was shining hard.
I found a little rainbow living in by yard:
loopsy-dasey rainbow, blown and blurred and rounded,
with nether end in no place and tether end ungrounded.
I did not dig the borders round nor for its treasure till.
The pot of gold will soon be found--on my water bill."
There are rainbows everywhere, but the most amazing rainbow on record is the one the
Apostle John saw in heaven. Here is the only permanent rainbow that exists. They fade so fast
on earth, but this one is part of the furniture of heaven. It is part of the presence of God. It
would appear to be a complete circle all the way around the throne of God. We see rainbows
cut in half because we cannot see below the horizon where the other half is. But John saw the
whole circle in heaven. It had to be one of the most beautiful sights human eyes have ever
Beauty does not need any other reason for being. It does not have to have a message or
some symbolical meaning, for beauty is an end in itself. It feeds the mind and the inner man.
Man does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God,
and one of His loveliest words is the word rainbow. Beauty is a paradox. As we travel through
the mountains and see all the wonders of the trees, and snow covered peaks, and rapid flowing
streams, it is amazing that all you can do with beauty is admire it. The badlands were
beautiful, but you could not use them for anything. All you could do is look and stand in awe
at their beauty. They serve no other purpose than just being awesome. So much of what God
has made has no practical value. It is just beauty for beauty's sake. God is saying by this that
beauty is a practical value in itself.
We saw flowers in the state of Washington we had never seen before. We walked a block
from our motel to get a picture of the most beautiful flowering bush we had ever seen. It was
so beautiful with its hugh blue flowers, but it had no other purpose than just being beautiful.
All we, or anyone else, could do with it was to admire it. Berghild Dahl in her book, I Wanted