This summer, I spent some time hiking alone early in the morning while our family was on vacation visiting a remote island. It rained briefly almost every day and the weather changed quickly.

One morning, I climbed a ridge with a path of rocks that led me almost straight up like a staircase winding through a jungle where there were swarms of black butterflies, exotic birds with melodic whistling voices, and an occasional iguana perched on a rock. The ground was blanketed with wet leaves and shaded by bright green tropical trees and every so often, there was a break in the canopy, revealing spectacular glimpses of the view below.

When I reached the top, I was welcomed by an absolutely breathtaking view of a blue sky full of white puffy clouds, a turquoise colored sea below and other islands that reached into the distance. I had arrived at the highest point on the island and had a 360 degree view of utter paradise. I stopped to take it all in, and enjoy the peaceful surroundings and pray.

When I looked up, there was the most colorful and perfectly arced rainbow that I had ever seen. It must have stretched for three miles and only pierced through a few white clouds. Each end of the rainbow rested on the surface of the water as if there were a sheet of glass preventing it from sinking into the sea. As I watched, I noticed that dark gray clouds where it was obviously raining shaded one end of the rainbow. There was a squall that seemed to be pushing the rainbow toward me, and I began to wonder what it would be like to wait and be engulfed by the rainstorm.

Would the rainbow stay while I got wet? Would I see the underside of the rainbow? Would the colorful arc disappear while I got soaked? It moved toward me quickly, the sky darkened, and it was very windy.

Then, as suddenly as it had started, the whole scene stopped and there before me was the unexpected — something so much more beautiful than I could have ever dreamed up on my own. The perfectly arced rainbow was now being reflected by the surface of the water and in its fullest most glorious expression formed almost a complete circle of colorful brilliant light.

As I stood there, awestricken, I could feel the sun come out and warm my back as cold raindrops lightly fell on my shoulders. And it struck me. Isn’t God wonderful?

No matter where my mind wandered, and no matter what scenario I could dream up, or what fear could overtake me, it paled in comparison to what was ultimately revealed. It reminded me of our journey through life. Our limited views as humans are insufficient to imagine what God has planned for us.

That rainbow, as beautiful as it was, had not been fully expressed, nor its potential fully realized, until it traveled through the storm. It had to endure the rain and reach its place beyond the storm for the light to be fully refracted and reflected.

As the parent of a child with Batten disease, this gives us incredible hope. We are on a journey whose path is undetermined, but know that God has a plan for Christiane’s life and a purpose for ours. As humans, our views are limited and only God can see the rainbow’s end and His full expression of our lives.
In the meantime, we live by faith, knowing that He has a plan. After all, as someone once said, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s learning to dance in the rain.”