DONíT LOSE THE RAINBOW

by David Sisler

The man was, by all outward measures of success, immensely successful. He had all of the trappings: wealth, prominence, position. In an unguarded moment, he revealed the depth of his failure. "When I was a very little boy," he said, "I determined I would find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I can tell you I've found the pot, but I've lost the rainbow."

Children dream about beautiful rainbows. They build incredible castles of imagination. Too often reality never matches the rainbow and the tangible never equals the imagination.

One day Jesus was teaching about divorce. Marital infidelity, Jesus said, is the only reason to sever a marriage. Divorce was never part of God's plan, Jesus said.

I don't think Mark's record of what happened next was a coincidence. Perhaps no one is more adversely affected by divorce than the children. For that reason, I think it is significant that Mark's ensuing vignette is about children.

Some people brought their small children to Jesus so he could touch them. But his followers told the people to stop. When Jesus saw what was happening, it affected him greatly.

The disciples probably thought they were protecting Jesus. They didn't want him to be crowded or distracted, but he was indignant.

"Don't stop them!" Jesus demanded. "Don't you dare keep them away from me. You let them come to me. The Kingdom of God is like these little children. If you ever hope to enter my Father's kingdom, you must become like these children."

Eric Marshall and Stuart Hample have published several books of letters from children to God.

One child wrote: "Dear God, If you made the rule for kids to take out the garbage, please change it. Love, Maurice."

Another child wrote: "Dear God, I read your book, and I like it. I would like to write a book some day with the same kind of stories. Where do you get your ideas? Best wishes, Mark."

One day a little girl was playing in her backyard. From the kitchen window her mother was watching her closely. The little girl stared at the ground and then very carefully placed herself, stretched out on the ground.

When she had repeated the maneuver several times her mother asked, "What are you doing?"

The child replied, "I'm trying to see if my shadow fits."

It would be tragic to discover the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and then lose the wonder of the rainbow.

Mary of Bethany understood the wonder. One day Jesus was reclining at a dinner when she broke an alabaster box and poured the perfume it contained over Jesus. That act of love was almost the last human kindness Jesus received before he was crucified. Judas calculated the perfume as costing the equivalent of one year's wages. Mary calculated only her love for her Lord.

Four men with a paralytic friend understood the wonder. Jesus was standing inside of a house teaching. When they could not get their friend close to Jesus, they climbed onto the roof of the house, tore several of the tiles off, and lowered their friend into the room. Then with childlike trust, they let go of the ropes. Now it was up to Jesus.

Matthew understood the wonder. He had a secure position and a comfortable living. One day Jesus stopped at his tax collection booth and said, "Follow me." In the spirit of a child, he never asked, "Follow you where?" He just got up and walked away with Jesus.

It would be tragic to discover the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and then lose the wonder of the rainbow.

If you've lost the wonder, you can discover it again. Like a little child, reach up in love and trust to your Heavenly Father. Why don't you crawl into his arms? He'll restore the wonder through the love of his Son.

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Copyright 2001 by David Sisler. All Rights Reserved.

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