SOS Noah

There comes a time in God’s calling when you discover that you simply can’t accomplish anything on your own.  That moment came early for me.

God had spoken to me clearly, of a catastrophe to come.  The evil of my generation was about to come to a tragic end.  Walking with him, like my fathers before me, was the best thing in my life and I’ve never experienced sorrow like I felt in the anticipation of the Flood.  Was it really too late?  Was there no other way?  Even as I questioned I knew in my heart that this was right.  It was like the knowledge of a dream, present without explanation or cause.

The task didn’t make any sense and the enormity of it was almost beyond imagining.  I was to build an ark, on dry land, with the blueprints coming from the mind of God.   We were to build, we were to gather, we were to trust and the project would take generations.

As I moved to obey I realized that I didn’t know where to start.  I didn’t have the tools.   I didn’t have the material.  I didn’t have the expertise needed; no one living had the expertise needed.  God was doing something new.  Waters would come and cover the earth and the island of safety for a remnant of creation would fall under His protection.

The mystery was this: why did God need me to build anything?  He spoke the universe into creation, and the heavens moved in their places according to His word and will.  He could speak and it would be so, why hand off the most important task in the world to amateurs?   At some point it hit me… it is His pleasure to work in us and through us and His plan is not dependent on our ability.   It’s only dependent on our ability to trust and obey.  That much I can do.

So we gathered materials, we gathered animals and learned what we could on the way.  And what a ridiculous way it was.  Even in the face of the most solemn task ever attempted, there were moments of laughter and a sense of this being beyond us.   How do we find the animals we need to find?  What do they eat?  How do we close the door?  Where will the water come from?   Where will it go?  Do we draw straws for who gets to clean up after the giraffes?  Anybody have any giant boat building tools we can borrow?

Let me be perfectly clear.  Our neighbors were not laughing “with us.”  Folks for hundreds of miles would stop by to laugh at our ship without a shore and the animals that were beginning to surround us.  I couldn’t blame them.  In fact, I was heartbroken.  They hadn’t walked with Him.  They didn’t . . .  they couldn’t understand a world where this made any sense.  It hurt to know that the people with their lives and stories and families would never understand, at least not until it was too late.  There was nothing to do but the best we could.  So we started, even without seeing the whole picture very clearly.

For years we prepared and eventually were ready to start laying out the framework.  God was faithful and at every step, He guided us directly, making possible the impossible and leading us in the moment to prepare for what came next.

We built, we found every animal we could and tried to learn all we could.  Many simply came and God gave us favor beyond our comprehension.   We worked as season gave way to season and year gave way to year.  Generations passed, the work continued, with no outward sign that anything would ever be any different.  We could feel it though, there was a sense of holy anticipation that the day was coming and all would be as He said it would.

When the day came, we had everything aboard and God Himself shut the door.  I have to tell you that the next few days were terrifying in the storm we have never experienced before.  The wind and the sounds we heard were alien things and even the depth of our trust and the relief we felt at God being true was strained by the enormity of what was happening.  When the ark lifted and began to move we knew what it meant.


The cities of men and their accomplishments were wiped away in an instant.  Nations were scraped clean from the surface of the earth as if they had never been.  All was given to the deep.  We were buffeted and spun, bounced and swirled on a thousand waves of His judgment and presence.  The myriad of life around us was strangely quiet in the days we floated on the ocean of the world.  There was a weight to it, a sense of cataclysm with an undercurrent of hope that is difficult to grasp even for those of us who were there.  We grieved the world we knew.  We ate and slept and hoped for a day when the world could become new again.

When the light of creation came again and we rested on the mount of His presence, what could we do but built an altar and worship?  There were portents beyond our control and there still are.  Walking into the footsteps of His presence and power brought us to a place we never could have imagined.  It all boils down to this.

My life is not my own.  My calling and the task He has led me to are beyond me.  The key isn’t ability, or effort, or a will set into the things our hands can build.  The key is surrender.

When the bow is in the cloud, then I will look upon it, to remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth. (The Account of Genesis, 9)

Devotional Thought for the Day

What an impossible project for Noah!  Only possible with God.  Maybe you and your family are in the midst of the impossible. Questioning God’s plan for you. Has He asked you to relocate? Has He asked you to remain steadfast right where you are, through a tumultuous ride?  Are you uncertain what to do next?   God gave you gifts with which you can accomplish much, but the adventure is in the things you can’t accomplish on your own. The ones only He can handle!   Take a few minutes and ask God to reveal areas where you have not surrendered.  Ask God for help in surrendering in obedience and the strength and resolve to stand up to the resistance that may follow.

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