“But God remembered Noah…” Genesis 8:1
We have all heard the story, seen the movies and childlike illustrations…Noah and the Ark. We marvel at how Noah built that big boat and God told him to bring “seven of every kind of clean animal…and two of every kind of unclean animal…and seven of every kind of bird, male and female (Genesis 7:2). As God brought the rains for forty days and the flood came, Noah, his family and the animals were tucked safely away. I would like to imagine it was comfy and cozy aboard this ship, rocking gently on the flooded earth but reality is that is not true. The darkness, the sounds, the smells, not quite the cruise ship experience to say the least. What about the feelings of fear thinking “I am the only one left”. Although Noah had his family with him, I would imagine his thoughts had to go to wondering if he heard God correctly. The entire world as he knew it was gone, destroyed and all he could do was float and wait.
I can remember a “tucked time” in my life. He just left! One day I was married with my husband living in the home with us and the next day he wasn’t. He just left. Alone, in my own boat, the flood of emotions and tears came as I tried to “get my sea legs”. For Noah, the 40 days of rain came but even after the rain stopped he had to continue to listen and be guided by God as to the next step. The Bible records that the water flooded the earth for 150 days (Genesis 7:24) and then “God remembered Noah”. Now this is not a “remember” as in God had previously forgotten him, it is a remember as “to call to mind”. This is the same Hebrew word used for Rachel when God “remembered and opened her womb” (Genesis 30:22) and Moses after he fled from killing the Egyptian and God “remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob” (Exodus 2:24). God didn’t remember as in He forgot, He remembered as in it was time to call to mind and respond.
In those seven years of marital separation, I thought God did forget. Frequently I wondered if I had heard the Lord correctly, was I to continue waiting? I can relate to Noah somewhat, can you? Have you been or are you in a season of waiting? Stuck on a boat, floating, with no land in sight? Everything you know as “life” has been destroyed and you wait for God to remember? May I remind you as you read the account of Noah in Genesis 6-9 notice how “the Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become” (Genesis 6:5) and consider this…was this God’s grace to “tuck Noah and his family away” until the judgement had passed? Is the season you’re in, the season of waiting, perhaps the ark of protection? We can’t see the whole picture, we don’t know what God knows (past, present and future). As I look back on those seven years of marital separation, I can only imagine what God was doing. What I do know after that time, is what God did. He fully restored my husband first back to Himself, then to our family, then took him home. In the eighth year, James died in a motorcycle accident on his way to work. God fully restored him, finished the work He promised to complete (Phil 1:6) then took him to heaven. And Avery and I, were tucked safely in the boat, no doubt doing a work in our hearts as well.
The day came, the dove was released through a window and brought back a freshly plucked olive leaf indicating new life on the earth (Genesis 8:11). Soon after God said to Noah “come out of the ark” (Genesis 8:15). The first thing Noah did was build an altar to the Lord and sacrificed a burnt offering of the clean animals God had provided on the ark. (Genesis 8:20). Therefore, get ready Christian. God has already provided what you will use to sacrifice to Him when the season is over. Will it be your testimony of His faithfulness or provision for all to see? Will it be the strength and wisdom He gave you so now you can encourage others? Whether you are waiting on a spouse, a paycheck or healing, God may have you safely tucked. Rest assured the time will come to be “called to mind” because God always remembers.