Genesis 8 speaks about the rain coming to an end and the flood waters beginning to recede. Noah, his family and all the animals had to wait for the waters to recede sufficiently before they could leave the ark.
It was 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 given the word to leave the ark. Now I have read this enough times before and it has made no impact on me before, until recently.
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.
I imagined them begging YHWH for release, as I sometimes do, from their shelter of salvation but also their greatest discomfort, the ark. Every day they must have been hoping for the sun to miraculously drink up all the flood water and for YHWH to say it was all in order to open the doors, leave the ark and move into their new grounded future.
I started thinking about where we have been over the last 3 years – sometimes it did feel like we were locked up in a figurative ark, minus the maddening livestock, but ever waiting for the proverbial flood waters to recede. As one day moved into the next as we thanked Him each day for the day of release, the day that we would experience breakthrough, the answers we were looking for.
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.
Any moment too soon and the chick and the butterfly would not survive outside of their protective coverings. The timing of our movement into the destiny YHWH has for all of us is perfectly timed.
We can’t see the reasons why we must wait, we can only trust. We can only trust that when we are placed in an ark like situation that it is not without reason.
So often 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 …. 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?
What do those flood waters represent to you and do you really want to jump ship into the depth of those torrid, icy waters?
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 clue where to next. It still amazes me that we often choose this over being patient.
We want what we want, when we want it and waiting is not an alternative.
Waiting requires patience and endurance – the release cannot be initiated by performance and striving, those doors will simply not open this way.
Jumping ship will also not get you there quicker – man overboard is never a positive.
The key is to move in closer to Father. It is not about rushing to and fro with doves and ravens and evaluating the height of the water and the possible waiting time for the waters to recede sufficiently. It is about connecting with your King – developing a relationship of intimacy with Him.
It is when we look to Him and not to our situation and the desire to move forward. It is when we look to Him and lay our idols down, the things we have put up in place of Him, the things that have taken our eyes off of our relationship with our Elohim, that we begin to get it.
It is here that we find peace and contentment. It is here where Father begins to show us what needs to go, what needs to be dealt with in order for the waters to recede, in order for the release to be granted.
He wants us first. Not what we can do or how we can serve. He wants our love, our all.
How many of us have lost our first love because we are so busy focusing on the ‘calling’ or finding our purpose? How many of us have sacrificed our closeness to our King for matters of self and the flesh?
I realise now – we were waiting because we were not ready for the release.
We were not ready because there was too much self on board.
Father had to strip that. He had to bring a renewal of the mind and we needed to surrender to this. We needed to get that it was not about us or what we could do for Him but sitting at His feet and knowing that in His perfect time, He would move us.
And so He has. Now we wait on the next part of His plan – because the more I walk this…the more I realise, this is decidedly bigger than me – and I cannot jump ship and try to navigate these waves on my own…I (we) can only do this with Him directing our steps.
And we can only hear His voice if we are in relationship with Him. Without that we are man overboard with no canoe and that is not a place any of us want to be.
Psalm 27 verse 4 – 6 stand out for me today…but read the entire Psalm it is so beautiful…
Just one thing have I asked of Adonai;
only this will I seek:
to live in the house of Adonai
all the days of my life,
to see the beauty of Adonai
and visit in his temple.
For he will conceal me in his shelter
on the day of trouble,
he will hide me in the folds of his tent,
he will set me high on a rock.
Then my head will be lifted up
above my surrounding foes,
and I will offer in his tent
sacrifices with shouts of joy;
I will sing, sing praises to Adonai.