Genesis 8:20-22 (NLT) Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and there he sacrificed as burnt offerings the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose. And the Lord was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice and said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things. As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”
Can you imagine what it must have been like to be stuck on a boat, all the windows and doors sealed shut, filled with smelly livestock, surrounded by your entire family, listening to the pounding rain feeling the rocking of the entire vessel all the while not having a clue where you are going or what you will find when the door finally opens? There was a terrible storm. I watched my husband out the window of my office as he cleaned the pool in the midst of flashing lightning and crashing thunder. Why would I just watch him in such a dangerous situation? Do you really think he would have come in if I called him? No, with one huge boom a transformer was hit and power lost. He decided that might be a good time to come in. Once inside the house, a few minutes turned into half an hour. The longer the silence the more stirred up our youngest became until finally her boredom drove us from the house into the car out into the wet world around us. In search of power, we went to the frozen yogurt bar to pass the time and take advantage of some free Wi-Fi. By the time we made our way back, power was restored and our routine could continue. No one was harmed. Life is good. I cannot imagine how badly Noah wanted off the ark considering I couldn’t make it an hour in our powerless home with my family.
One would think at my age trusting God would be a lifestyle routine, waiting just a thing, and that the process of endurance not a big deal anymore. Well, trusting God is still a challenge, waiting a problem and the process of patience that lead to endurance a point of contention in this life that I live. The more I desire to love and serve the Lord, the more help I need from Him to accomplish such a thing. We teach our children that Noah was on the ark for 40 days and 40 nights when in reality it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. There was way more time between conception and reality from faith to hope then we care to remember. But God remembers…He knows what He planned and intends to do just what He promised.
God’s Promise to Noah – I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things. As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.” When Noah heard the voice of God and obeyed it was with the pure intent to save his family from destruction. His actions did not just impact his family but the coming generations. Noah was acting in the moment but the Lord had forever in mind.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NLT) For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen. If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.
Our live in Christ is a gift. Once it is received, we must open it and use it to understand its full potential. At first, there are some expectations based on superficial knowledge that will change once we fully encounter the Gift of God that is eternal life. God placed Eternity in our heart. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Eternal life is our gift from God through Jesus Christ who puts us back into right standing with Him, hence beginning a lifelong process of fulfillment. When we seek the Lord wholeheartedly, His Plan is set into motion and obtained in the process of working out one’s salvation. This is opening God’s Gift and applying it to our life. Life is a process. Salvation requires a process. We are all in the process as long as there is breath in our body with a beating heart. Raise your hand if you like God’s Process all the time? Nah, me either. No matter what, God’s Process for our life always yields a future and hope. His Word never returns void in our life. (Isaiah 55:11) In fact, God promises that it will always prosper our life accomplishing exactly what He intended it to do.
Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NLT) For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.
The process of God requires His Timing. He will not do anything prematurely or posthumously. It is all accomplished in due season. Life is a series of seasons naturally and spiritually all building to the crescendo called Eternity. God’s Big Tada! Humanity tends to focus on the here and now. God gives us the benefit of Ecclesiastes as blessed assurance to secure our anchor of hope in that there is time for everything in our life. Nothing is wasting as the Lord takes each moment and capitalizes on it. This is why we believe Romans 8:28 that He takes all the details of our life making good on His Promises. But when there is a time for everything than with it comes a prescribed wait time. Ugh! I am waiting on the Lord for some things currently that are taking longer than I would like them too. I have become frustrated. Yet, over the years, I have learned that this hope I have in Jesus never leads to disappointment so just about the time my flesh thinks it is winning and I am about to throw in the towel, the Lord yet again convinces me that He is worth the wait.
Romans 5:1-5 (NLT) Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. Because of our faith, Christ has brought us into this place of undeserved privilege where we now stand, and we confidently and joyfully look forward to sharing God’s glory. We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.
Oh my goodness this inescapable process and procedure of God as He cannot and will not ever reduce the maximum potential of His Promise for my immediate relief or gratification. God will not relent but requires perfection in His Prosperity. You may be willing to take less but the Lord will never give us less than His All. Oh how I fall short… Are you tired of waiting today? Wondering if God forgot His Promise to you, I will admit I was struggling. He opened the window of the ark allowing me to peer into his friend, Noah’s life.
Noah was 600 years old when he entered the ark. It rained for 40 days and 40 nights. The floodwaters sat on the earth another 150 days. The waters receded over another two and a half months. After yet another 40 days, Noah could finally open a window. (Genesis 7 & 8) When Noah finally exited the smelly and disgusting cramped quarters of the soggy vessel, he was 601 years old. His salvation from the flood took more than a year.
Timing is everything to God. Our ability to wait on the Lord secures our future. God understands when we get tired, impatient and fed up. His Grace is enough for me during those times when I want the promise but resist the wait. He sends new mercy every single day if I would simply go after it.
Lamentations 3:21-26 (NLT) Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.
While Noah was waiting for the earth to produce dry land, he released two birds – a raven and a dove. I believe these two birds represent two essential qualities in our pursuit of that which is hoped for. The raven was often referred to due to its voracious appetite. It is relentless in its pursuit of fulfillment and always hungry. Noah desired God with His Whole Being. He craved a relationship with God. He was hungry for Him. The bird flew away each morning and back each night over and over again. Pursuit is necessary in the process of God. It should be wholehearted.
In addition to the raven, Noah also released a dove. Ambition is a good thing. Motivation is an admirable quality, too. The godliness of these two things is manifested in that which is pursued and desired. Noah and his family was saved because Noah did everything the Lord commanded. (Genesis 7:5) The raven was looking for the things needed for natural survival. The dove represented the Lord and when the dove did not come back it was time to step out in faith again for Noah and follow the Lord.
Noah got on the ark with the expectation of survival. God never wonders or worries that we will make it. He has a plan for our life with a future and hope for those who will endure to the end. God always plans for us to thrive and grow where we are planted. When Noah came off the boat, he did not run to build a fire or a house or any other natural thing. Noah built an altar and worshipped the Lord. See at the end of our pursuit, no matter what it is, if we do not find the Lord than we have somehow missed it. When we fall behind, we lose sight of Him. When we go ahead of his perfect timing, it aborts our arrival. But when we wait on the Lord and He is our hope, no matter where we land we will find Him and worship Him. When the Lord is our inheritance, our hope is fulfilled.
Proverbs 13:12 (NLT) Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.
Is hope deferred in your life today? Is your heart sick…and tired of waiting on the Lord and His Promise? I completely understand. I am waiting on some things, too. I grow weak and weary in the process but God does not know these two traits. He never grows weak and weary of pursuing us and overtaking us with His Goodness. We must seek only seek godliness to have such things. Even when that which we wait for is completely in line with God’s Written and Spoken Word, there is almost always a wait time associated. Why? The hope we have is about the size of our faith equaling a mustard seed. But the hope of God that we have obtained in Christ Jesus is so much bigger than that. We look for that which we hope for like a piece of fruit hidden in a tree. We want to fill our hand but God wants to fill our life. He wants to produce a tree from that seed of faith that will satisfy not only us but God’s People all around us. He is growing us into mighty oaks of righteousness immovable in the storm and able to prosper in every season including those of famine and drought. His Plan and Purpose is so much bigger than the small and sometimes insignificant thing that we ask for. We want a quick fix but the Lord offered us forever and He remembers.
Psalm 33:10-12 (NLT) The Lord frustrates the plans of the nations and thwarts all their schemes. But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; his intentions can never be shaken. What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance.