It could be anything – a soccer game, a wedding – and if it is to be held outdoors, the weather becomes a plot driving character in the day’s story. Like the girl from the nursery rhyme, when it’s good, it is really, really good, but when it’s bad? It might not be horrid, but it may just be the great havoc-wreaker.

My opinions on the weather are extreme and not based in reality. Rain is fine as long as I don’t have to go out. Wind is never desirable. Hail is just not necessary. Snow is welcome. Anytime. So far.

Unfortunately, strong opinions do not ensure the weather’s cooperation. Icy wind and driving rain once denied the girls and me the peak of Mount Washburn. Hail pelted the five of us within a half-mile of the trailhead as we returned from what had already been a rainy foray over the rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Whitecaps nearly capsized our canoe as an afternoon thunderstorm materialized from a cloudless Teton sky.

Deep down I know that my opinions about the weather are unrealistic and self-serving (I live among farmers and gardeners and people who actually have to drive when it snows), but still I am disappointed when my plan and the weather are not a happy mix. Such was the case one rainy day when we had planned to hike but decided to avoid a soaking by spending our time indoors. I am certain to have grumbled, but as a redirectable sort married to a guy whose nature it is to make the best of things, the Visitor’s Center at Mammoth Hot Springs became our new destination. By the time we pulled up, the rain was gone, the sun was breaking through and there, hanging in a narrow valley, was something I had never before seen: the gentle curve of the topside of a rainbow. I was stunned.

Where I come from, we look up at rainbows.

Just as the weather wreaks havoc with life outdoors, circumstances wreak havoc in life. We saw the top of the rainbow only because we were driven from where we wanted to be to where we would see it. Only when driven from where I want to be to where I need to be, will I come face to face with what I need to see.

Whether we were able to hike that day is a detail lost in the recesses of my mind. What I remember is the rainbow. It was the journey’s end. The rain was just another part of the road.

What about you? Is something wreaking havoc with your life’s journey, changing your plan and bringing you face to face with something new?

And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28