Devo Scripture: Genesis 7:1-10
Key Verse: John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.”
I heard something this week that made me consider how nonchalant I view Bible stories. I was reminded that the well known characters of the Bible had no idea they would ever be characters in a story. They were simply people, just like us, trying to navigate life. They didn’t know the ending of their story. They didn’t know how God would use them. They too had to trust God. They too had to surrender. They too had to struggle. Sometimes they lost the battle and sometimes they won. We get to glean a small snippet of their life in the Bible but so much more took place than what’s been recorded. Makes me ponder so many questions…
Like what about the first 500 years of Noah’s life? He was childless. Did he marry young? Did they struggle with infertility? Did he build anything else in his lifetime? Was he a craftsman? How did God prepare him to build the ark? Because I have no doubt God prepared him. Did Noah cry out for God to use him and wonder why it was taking so long? When God spoke to him was he surprised or had it happened before?
And what of his time on the high seas? It must have been a time filled with all kinds of emotions. They probably all lost friends. I think of the three daughter-in-laws who lost their families…their own mothers, brothers, sisters. And though they had a promise of God’s protection did they daily cleave to it? Or did they, just like us, struggle with God’s faithfulness. I imagine there was much anxiety when God closed the door and the lions roared and the rain began to pour and they were alone. Just the eight of them. I cannot even fathom the attention of heaven (and hell) upon this little family.
What was it like when the first animals approached the ark? I’ll be honest. This part would have been a real struggle for me. Yes I’m married to a hog farmer but I’m not much of an animal person. (There I said it. You can unfriend me if you feel the need). But seriously…they were not just in the ark for 40 days and nights. They were closed in for a year and 10 days before they disembarked. That’s a long time to care for what easily could have been 16,000 or more animals! Were they all animal lovers? I’ll go on record here saying I think it was quite a challenging year for this little family! Can you imagine being 1 of 8 persons left out of millions or possibly even billions of people. All of them gone but you. That alone completely blows my mind. But then consider…your home…gone. Life as you knew it…over. Swept away along with you. No idea where you will end up. No idea what life will be like when the journey is done.
Perhaps some of you have been there…in some way. Maybe some of you are there now. Maybe you’re in the middle of a journey and you have no idea where it will take you. No idea what life is going to be like. It’s hard to picture it. Hard to fathom. My precious friend, you are not alone. Whether you volunteered for the journey or not it has a purpose. It all has a purpose. To make us more like Christ. To refine us. To draw us into his open arms.
I want to remind you today of some very great and precious promises. Jesus said he is always with us (Matthew 28:20). He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7). He will supply all your needs (Phil 4:19). He is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than we could ever ask or think (Eph. 3:20). Day after day he carries us (Psalm 68:19). He satisfies the soul that longs for him and fills him with goodness (Psalm 107:9). He loves you (Romans 5:8).
It may be that the adversity you face is for your protection. It certainly was for Noah. It may be that your struggle is because of sin in the world. It certainly was for Noah. It may be that your journey seems bumpier than necessary. But it also may be that the struggle, the adversity, the journey isn’t really about you…at all. Maybe…just maybe you’ve been tossed about on the high seas of life so the world can see Him. Every trial, every struggle, every pain is an opportunity to showcase the marvelous wonders of our Savior.
Because really that long lonely year on the sea with so many doubts, so many fears, so much unknown wasn’t about Noah at all. It wasn’t about his sons or daughter-in-laws or the fear or the pain they must have experienced. (Though God no doubt wept with them.) It was about God. About a God who saves; loves; protects; shields; and yields power over the elements. But cannot and will not justify sin or the ungodly. But will indeed provide a way for any willing soul who humbly seeks salvation in Him. The ark was a picture of Jesus but Noah didn’t know that. He was simply trying to navigate…life.
So maybe…maybe you’re a character in a story…a much bigger story than any of us even realize. A story of a God; a Savior; who came to seek and save the lost. Maybe it’s really about Him and not about us at all. Sometimes we lose the battle and sometimes we win. Sometimes we laugh and sometimes we cry. Sometimes we struggle and sometimes we thrive. But it’s all to show the world His love; His power; His faithfulness; His peace; His glory; His goodness. To showcase Jesus.
Perhaps it’s not about me at all (though sometimes I like to think it is). Perhaps it’s not even about you (though you are dear to me and to Him). But perhaps it’s really…all about Him. To God be the Glory forever and ever! Amen!