What a day – what a year – what a life so far! Oh my word, Father, am I really strong enough for all of this? I must be, for your word says that you will not give us more than we can bear. Sometimes, admittedly I do wonder about that one…
A little while ago I was reading though Genesis as one sometimes does when drinking one’s morning coffee and I happened to read about the great flood. Genesis 8 speaks about the waters finally receding and Noah, his family and all the animals had to wait for the waters to recede before they could leave the ark.
I tried to work out all the timing (but I have chosen not to commit to any amount of days just in case my mind is not mathematically inclined this evening) it must have been just under a year before Noah could send out the dove to see if there was a resting place for it. The dove flew out twice before returning with an olive leaf and then on the third flight did not return. Only at the end of second month of the following year were Noah and the occupants able to leave the ark. Now I have read this enough times before and it has made no impact on me before, until today.
I imagined being stuck in the ark – it must have been severely overcrowded, musty, and damp with the anything but wonderful aroma of animal dung wafting through Noah’s nostrils.
They must have been so eager to breathe fresh air again and to walk on solid ground. They must have longed for fresh food and juicy fruits and maybe some fresh, home-baked bread. A little place for themselves free of chattering chimps and the constant hee-hawing of the overly bored donkeys (thank goodness they didn’t have Shrek on board as well).
They must have been begging God for release, as I sometimes do, from their salvation a death by drowning but also their greatest discomfort, enter stage left…the ark.
Every day they must have been hoping for the sun to miraculously drink up all the flood water and for God to say it was all in order to open the doors, leave the ark and move into the grounded future.
I started thinking about where we are right now and where you may be too – sometimes it does feel like we are locked up in a figurative ark, minus the maddening livestock, but waiting for the proverbial flood waters to recede.
As one day moves into the next Robin and I are both saying thank you God for His timing of the day of release, the day that we experience our breakthrough, the answers we are looking for and the shift in circumstances.
Just like a butterfly breaking out of the cocoon or a chick breaking out of its shell, it has to be at the right time. We cannot promote ourselves…only God can do that. If it is any moment too soon the chick and the butterfly would not be able to survive outside of their protective coverings.
It made so much sense to me when I read this – the timing of our movement into the destiny God has for all of us is perfectly timed. We can’t see the reasons why we are still waiting, we can only trust. We also have to trust that when we are placed in an ‘ark-like situation’ that it is not without reason.
We can only grow when we are placed in places of discomfort.The butterfly has to fight its way out of the cocoon as with the baby chick, it is that very action that strengthens them for their next stage of life.
We don’t have reason to grow when we are comfortable and cosy. When everything is just as we think it should be why would we need to make a shift? We would have absolutely every reason to snuggle down and to stay put. Discomfort however forces us to look for change and the very thing that will bring shift. It also forces us to be that much more honest with where we are truly at. It is our deep need for comfort that could either grow us or cause us to jump though.
So the question remains – do we take matters into our own hands and jump ship before the waters recede and hope for the best? Or do we wait for the waters to recede and trust the process? Do we trust the timing to be just right?
What do those flood waters represent to you and do you really want to jump ship into the depth of those torrid, icy waters? I personally I have jumped ship before as I am sure you have and it does not come highly recommended. It really just leaves you wet, cold and paddling with absolutely no determined direction. It still amazes me that we often choose this over being patient. This fast food, microwave dinner, instant gratification lifestyle has really played its toll on all of us. We want what we want, when we want it and waiting is not an alternative.
So what do we do? On one hand we are told to have faith and walk the waters, on the other hand we are told to wait on God and trust Him to release us at the right time. Quite a conundrum for those who are trying to live a life of faith, so this is my humble opinion based on my personal life experiences thus far.
Do what you need to do – not out of being completely foolish but out of faith…God has been quite amazing by giving us the blueprint in His word…what did Noah do?
So often we second guess our decisions and our steps forward – sometimes we just need to go with it. In my current situation there have been times that have required waiting in the ark – but at the same time it has required walking on water – all in all I realise there is generally a lot of water in the picture and my only life line against drowning in all of it is my Father God.
What I have learned is that whether you are waiting or walking – the water is always there waiting for you to fall into it but the most comforting thing in all of that is that our God, will be there the minute you start sinking, regardless of whether you were right or wrong – He will not let you go under and will always provide you with a solution.
Ultimately we want to get it right without getting wet – and that is what we hope to achieve. If we slip it’s okay – God sees the heart and so that is your comfort. Keep your head above the water either way.
This can only happen if we are in the word, praying your butt off and trusting that despite your great and sometimes not so great decisions God will make a way where there seems to be none and you will find your feet on solid ground again. Keep your nose in His word – read the blueprint, learn from the mistakes the men and women of Gad made and remember this one…
Zechariah 4 verse 6 “Not by might, not by power, but by my spirit say the Lord”
Happy sailing and keep believing.
Images: Sinking In To Water courtesy of koratmember;Globe With Splashing Water" courtesy of Kookkai_nak at www.freedigitalphotos.net