I have had times like that, as a mum, when I have just about gone loopy from being on 'mess control' or dealing with kids who also had the dreaded 'cabin fever'. I also remember those times when my loving husband, Bren, would literally tell me to 'get out' so I could have some 'me time' all by myself and just how wonderful and refreshing that really was... also how wonderful it was to come home afterwards. Other times family/friends would mind the midgets so Bren and I could 'date' or just have some time together. There were times when it was fun just taking the little guys out shopping or to the library or somewhere special like the zoo. I think, kids or no, we all go through times like that when we just need to GET OUT!!!
Now imagine something with me...
Imagine you are asked to build a boat... not just any boat, but one about 137 meters long! That you were given all the 'specs' and got to work. You and your family, a great deal of food and a heap of animals get in and then God shuts you in.
I read a story I have heard time and time again... an ark, guy named Noah, a flood, a rainbow... a ringin' a bell??? This guy was 600 years old when 'the windows of heaven were opened'. I wonder if at any time when he was building the boat or getting in did it even look like it was going to rain. Was all still? Was there a gentle breeze? Were there days when his family thought he was losing it?
Now, like I said, I've heard all this before and, although I couldn't have told you Noah's age, or the specs on the ark, I knew the basic story-line... the world (aside from Noah's family) turn from God and do evil, God plans a flood to cleanse the earth, Noah follows God's will and builds a boat, they hop in, rain, etc.
What caught my eye this time was - what was it like, after the door was shut, when the rain started to fall? What were they thinking as the boat started to lift?
It rained for forty days and forty nights, but the waters flooded the earth for one hundred and fifty days before the water started to go down.
It said the ark moved on the water...
So you follow God's will. You're in a big 'boat' and it's floating and moving around and you're in it for over a year. Imagine having to completely and utterly trust in God for that entire time; only being able to go where He carried you!
All this is truly amazing, but the thing that truly takes my breath away is what happened after... what happened after this year when they stepped out the boat and onto dry land. The only living beings on land on the whole earth stepped out of that ark! Can you imagine there being just you and your family in the presence of God???
Kind of puts being stuck at home for a few weeks into perspective doesn't it!
Imagine how your thinking would change if you allowed God to carry you through the next week, the next month, the next year.
Noah had to trust God with the plan, trust God with the design, trust God to provide and trust God to care for them all. Where was Noah at the end of this? He was on dry land again, knowing that he had 'found grace in the eyes of the Lord' (Gen 6:8). He knew God's wisdom, and God's provision. He knew God's grace and love.
God's plan to cleanse us was started in a manger and our sin was nailed to the cross...
"For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation-- if you continue in your faith, established and firm, not moved from the hope held out in the gospel. This is the gospel that you heard and that has been proclaimed to every creature under heaven, and of which I, Paul, have become a servant."
Colossians 1:19-23 NIV
I hope that during the course of my life I may trust and know that my Heavenly Father loves me and will guide me and provide for me... that I will walk the paths of His choosing until this life ends and I arrive on the solid ground of eternity in heaven... I hope to see you there too!