May 04

Decorative orange dots

Genesis 8: 6-11

After forty days Noah opened a window he had made in the ark and sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. But the dove could find nowhere to perch because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth.

Lately I’ve been thinking about the Bible stories I learned as a child. Noah’s Ark, Moses and the Red Sea, David and Goliath, and the list goes on. But as I’ve revisited them as an adult, I’ve begun to see them in quite a different light. They’re so rich in the truths about who God is and so full of relatable moments. Now, I’m not saying I’ve ever had to battle a giant with a slingshot or lead thousands of people out of captivity, but I do know what it’s like to face a challenge that feels insurmountable. I may not have had to build an Ark, but I’ve weathered some pretty tough “storms” in my life. I’ve known the restlessness and loneliness of waiting on God’s timing, waiting for a sign of hope. And I imagine that each and every one of us has faced our fair share of storms. 

For me, I’m so thankful that I learned these Bible stories early in my life, even though some of them can seem rather dark or scary from a child’s perspective.  But they reveal such foundational characteristics about our God: He is powerful – loving – just – wise.  He is deserving of our complete obedience and trust. These lessons have stayed with me over the years, sustaining my life in times of uncertainty and struggle.

Just take a look at Noah. God tells him to build an Ark because the world is so corrupt.  So, Noah listens to God and builds the ark, even though he was probably feeling rather foolish as people wondered what he was doing.  After the flood finally came with a torrential downpour, Noah sent out his dove, but it came back with nothing to show.  I imagine Noah must have been wondering if and when he might see a sign of hope.   

Can anyone relate? Have you ever felt like this world is so full of corruption? Ever felt foolish or silly trying to follow the will of God? Ever waited and waited for some kind of relief when there wasn’t any hope in sight?

These stories are so relatable because they’re stories about us, about our lives. Storms will come and life will feel uncertain and uneasy.  But just as Noah trusted and obeyed, God will come through. Noah may have been afraid or looked like a fool, but his obedience saved the earth. And that little sprig of green in the dove’s mouth represented a new hope for the world beyond the storms.  So, if today you’re facing the insurmountable, I encourage you to hold on to the foundational truths of who God is and find your hope in the knowledge that He is in control and that His ways are perfect.

Prayer Prompts:

1. Today, what is weighing heavy on your heart that is causing you to worry or doubt? Take some time to talk to God about those things, lifting up your cares to Him.

2. Is there an area in your life that God is calling you to give over to Him in obedience? Take time to confess any sin that might make you resistant to trusting Him.  Ask Him for His strength and guidance as you seek to trust Him in seeing you through!

3. What are some attributes of God for which you are most thankful? Take some time to praise and thank Him for showing you His greatness, tenderness, and power.  Thank Him for His reassurance that He can be trusted in the most uncertain times of your life.    

Danae Topp

NextGen Creative Arts Associate