As I sit here reading Genesis 8, the cool breeze of our fan gently blows upon me the fresh air from outdoors. With the massive amount of rain we’ve had here in Georgia the past two days came a pleasant drop in temperature, one that this former Northerner appreciates immensely. But I digress … back to Genesis! This chapter exhibits the receding of the floodwaters and the resting of Noah’s ark on Mount Ararat. Reading about how God sent “a wind to blow across the earth” (Genesis 8:1, New Living Translation), I closed my eyes and pictured the scene, complete with the wind of the fan on my face. Can you imagine the hope Noah and his family felt as the waters dried up bit by bit? Did Noah stand with his face at the window, feeling God’s wind and knowing their time in the ark was coming to an end with a new beginning awaiting he and his loved ones? Did anticipation mix with gratefulness within him, causing an overwhelming excitement to well up in his chest?
Later in the passage, we read that after leaving the ark, Noah built an altar to God and made the approved sacrifices (Genesis 8:20, NLT). The LORD was pleased with Noah’s sacrifice at the altar, and I believe He was also pleased with Noah’s obedience. The man built a humongous boat in a land that had not seen rain! He lived in conditions less than appealing … on a ship filled with animals and their waste (and for that matter, family and their waste too!), being tossed about by the waves of the rising flood. God spoke; Noah listened and obeyed without hesitation. He didn’t have all the answers, he may not have understood all that God was asking of him, but he moved forward anyway, all while worshipping his LORD. Afterward, God wiped away the waters that had engulfed Noah’s life for months.
The world in which my husband, Steve, and I reside was rocked over the past few months with his diagnosis of cancer. We have been tossed to and fro by the waves of emotional and physical pain, confusion, anger, and exhaustion, to the point of feeling like we were drowning. There have been glimpses of sunshine on the horizon, and there have been moments of darkness … a darkness that envelopes and desires the floodwaters to simply consume us and be done. We have cried out, “WHY God? What do You want from us?” We have wept a river full of tears. I personally read Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them” and screamed, “HOW God? How is this GOOD?!”
I thank God for His children. In the midst of the pain and the questioning, a dear friend allowed me to vent freely, and she listened without judgment. She knows my faith is not shaken, and she, too, has experienced moments of confusion when circumstances seemed unfair. One day, I sent her a text about my feelings on the above verse. She prayed before sending this response: I don’t think we’re supposed to understand all things, just trust that He is with us through it all. The Holy Spirit’s peace washed over me when I read those words. I needed the reminder that indeed, God is with us every single step of the way though our flood. He never left Noah, and He isn’t leaving us.
Are the waters receding yet? Eh, not completely. We’re fighting a lifelong battle with high and low tides. But I know God’s promises are true. I trust, without a doubt, that He will continue to bless us and provide in ways that will blow our minds. We will praise His name and worship Him with every part of our lives … the good and the not so good. And our river of tears? Revelation 21:4 tells us, “He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.” Oh, sweet Jesus, how I long for that day! “He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon!’ Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!” (Revelation 22:20).