Noah's Arkis a story dear to my heart. Even as an adult, I adorn my walls with beautiful pictures of Noah and his animals, the rainbow, and the ark. My favorite theme has been that God keeps his promises which is evidenced by the rainbow in the sky. I've alwaysmarveled at the faith it took for Noah to even built the ark considering the fact that it had never rained before. But only recently have I considered the faith it took for Noah to wait in the ark for the waters to recede after the rain stopped. It is interesting to realize that God gave Noah all kinds of detailed instructions on how to build the ark, how many animals to take, which people to take, and how long it would rain. But, Noah didn't receive details concerning the timeafterthe rain stopped and they were still floating on the water with no sight of dry land. Perhaps this was a very trying time for Noah because he had to wait patiently for the flood to dry up. He really didn't know what to expect.
There is a common question every parent is asked when they are traveling any distance at all with children in the car. That question is, "Are we there yet?" I can imagine Noah asking God a similar question when he awoke each morning and looked out of the little window of the ark: "Is there dry landyet?" Clearly, the flood waters did not disappear quickly. Like the child waiting patiently (or impatiently)for the end of the car ride, I suspect Noah could hardly wait to see dry land. Butwhen day after day wentby with no dry land, it was undoubtedly difficult for Noah to have faith of arescue. Had God forgotten him? Surely this question came to his mind when he would look out at the vast horizon and see nothing but water. Day after day he waited. How long would this last? God had told him about the forty days and forty
nights of the rain, but there was no mention of endless waiting for the waters to recede.
But picture with me the expression that must have been on Noah's face when he saw that first mountain top peeking up out of the water. In my mind, I envision Noah dancing a little jig when he saw evidence that God was still with him. His heart must have been uplifted and encouraged. Seeing this proof of God must have strengthened his soul to wait as long as necessary for God to allow them to again set foot on solid ground. Every new sighting of another mountain top must have fed Noah's hope for a better day.
My friend, you may be experiencing your own flood right now. Perhaps it is the flood of grief that has completely covered your life and your heart. Like Noah, no doubt you are asking that familiar question: "When will this pain be over?' Are you feeling like you will never see dry land again? Please realize that there is evidence of God all around you. Follow the example set by Noah and look for them. For example, are you beginning to have more good days than before? Are you beginning to laugh again? Are you able to think about your loved one without crying so often? If you have experienced any of these, it is a mountain top in the flood water for you. Your flood is receding. Be encouraged and let these things strengthen your hope and faith that God has a great plan for you. Your flood will be over one day. God will once again give you dry ground to walk on.
1. Read the story of Noah beginning in Genesis 6:9. Even though it is probably a familiar story to you, write about new insights you have regarding this passage.
2. Read I Peter 5:6-7. Why is it sometimes hard to wait for God's due time to lift us up?
3. What has been the best thing that has happened to you this week?
4. What evidence have you seen of God lately?
5. What are you missing most about your loved one today?
Your Toolbox for Grieving
Today's grieving tool to add to your toolbox is surprisingly simple. It is the spoken word. More specifically, it is speaking the Word of God out loud. Proverbs 18:21 tells us that there is power in the words we speak with our tongue. ( See also Romans 10:8-10, Matthew 17:19-20, and Corinthians 4:2 ). So, I am asking you to plug in to a source of great power and speak the Word of God out loud. Choose a particularly encouraging verse that speaks to your heart, (an example might be 2 Corinthians 4:16 ) write it on a note card and carry it around with you all day. When you feel that first twinge of despair, read the verse out loud and feel the power.
Dear Friend, I pray that you will not be timid, but experience the power, love, and self-discipline that your gracious Heavenly Father can provide for you. May the spoken Word of God be a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path. ( Based on 2 Timothy 1:7 and Psalm 119:105 )