Then God said to Noah, “Leave the boat, all of you – … Genesis 8:15-16 (NLT)
How many out there can relate to at some point or another in life, having longed for something different? (“Something” could encompass anything in life.) Yet often when change actually occurs we hesitate, we question, we step back instead of up. Why?!
First we need to ask The Gardener to reveal the root of our discontent because maybe it’s not from Him. If not, will we allow Him who knows best how to till the soil of our soul, to do so? Allowing the joy of His salvation to be our sustaining strength through (what feels like ashes (Is. 61:3)) to the beauty He is creating from this time we wouldn’t have chosen (Luke 22:42). He is able dear one.
On the other hand, maybe the urge for something new, something different IS from Him. In Genesis 8 the flood is receding and I’m sure Noah wanted nothing more than for something different than the ark!! We thought the quarantine of 2020 was a stressor… Noah probably rolled his ever lovin’ eyes from heaven as he thought, “Good grief people, at least you still get to do “poop duty” for your furry pets OUTDOORS!!”
Even still I wonder, as Noah gazed out the window of the ark longing for something different, to be free of the confines of the stinky ark… I wonder if part of him was scared stiff if that door in the ark ever actually opened (Colossians 4:3-4)!
Here Noah is facing his whole world (literally and figuratively) having changed. He had never known rain before and yet he just endured a flood caused by a torrential downpour! His world as he knew it, had changed. (Maybe you can relate on some level.) Noah would have to learn how to grow things in a rainy season or a not so rainy season! He had no neighbors to ask for advice or barrow potatoes from when his crop didn’t go so well… Not to mention he is SIX HUNDRED AND ONE YEARS OLD!!!
At 601 God chose Noah to restart the world! (Check 1 Samuel 16:7 and Isaiah 55:8-9. God wasn’t kidding!) Can you picture it?! Noah’s about to retire… you know, find a new hobby and rather finds God’s sense of humor!! Your prime time is God’s time, don’t doubt that for one moment! Don’t let what you feel is your shortcoming keep you from climbing up to encounter God like you never have before (Zaccheaus didn’t, check Luke 19.)! We all got one lap in life. Let’s swim in such a way that when our time runs out, we cross that finish line with not one bit of anything left over. Don’t be afraid to step out of the boat and USE IT ALL (we sure won’t need leftovers in Heaven)! Like the fathers prayer in Mark 9:24, maybe the biggest faith is under the biggest stone of doubt… Our God specializes in rolling stones away dear one, will you let Him do the heavy lifting/rolling (Ez. 36:26, Mark 16:4)?!
God opens the ark door and commands Noah to leave. As much as Noah had longed for this day, this “something different” he needed to hear God say, “step out of what “feels” safe, don’t let your fear of what you are walking into, distract you from WHO you are walking into it with (1 John 4:4).
Don’t ask yourself, “Am I ready?” because if you are anything like me your answer will always be, “Nope, I certainly do not feel ready!” Ask yourself, “Am I willing (Isaiah 6:8, 2 Cor. 4:6-7)?” Noah was willing to leave the boat as God had commanded but not only that, Noah stayed long enough to hear the whole word from God (Jer. 17:7-8). Noah wasn’t to leave alone, he was to lead his family out too. After a stinky quarantine he may have wanted space to go it alone and yet God said leave the boat and bring the bride and brood of kids with! Family is our forever mission no matter the conditions (Neh. 4:14).
Sometimes all we need to leave in order to embrace the “something different” is our old stinky attitude! Allowing God to elevate us to His perspective makes all the difference in the world! I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them. Isaiah 42:16 (NLT) *I like to personalize the above verse by inserting my name for “Israel”, allowing my heart to marinate to trusting perfection (by God’s grace) in that Truth… maybe you try it too. Are you willing, dear one? (Heb. 10:23)