Genesis 8:1a,3a-“But God remembered Noah…so the floodwaters gradually receded from the earth.”
I often wish that God would give just a little more detail into the thoughts that the people of the Bible had. Such as Abraham. Wouldn’t you love to know what was going through his head as he made the trek to sacrifice Isaac? Or how about the disciples? The Gospels tell us that when Jesus called them to follow Him, they immediately left, leaving family and jobs behind.
Noah is also one of those guys that I wish we could have more detail on. For several months, he was cooped up in the ark while the world’s largest storm was barreling around him. As I read the above verses this morning, I wondered what Noah was thinking. Did he have days where he felt alone and that God had forgotten Him? Was he doubtful of God’s protection? Did he wonder if he heard God’s voice correctly? I would have to think that at some point, yes, he did have those moments of uncertainty. After all, he was human. But God does leave that to our own speculation.
I wonder what Noah felt like for those 40 days, where the storm was at its’ most intense period. I imagine it to be like a scene from “The Perfect Storm” except lasting for 40 full days. Have you gone through your own storm that seems like it will never end? With life kinda swirling around you and you are left..floating? I remember times of feeling this way. Feelings of anger, loneliness. I remember a specific morning of feeling like this and wondering if God even heard me. A few minutes after praying these thoughts out, my phone buzzed with a text. It was from an old co-worker who I hadn’t spoken to in quite some time. She had been burdened to pray for me and wanted to check in to see what was going on. God’s voice through a friend, answering me that He does in fact hear me. “But God remembered Noah…” And God remembered me. And He remembers you. And will continue to remember you.
But what I love about storms..they DO have an ending. Physical storms end as well as storms of life. After a storm, there is always some sort of stillness. People wait some time to emerge before whatever clean-up needs to happen. The stillness of waiting can last longer than we want it to or longer than we expect it to. The Bible states that the flood waters covered the earth for 5 months and took another approximately 3 months to start to go down. “So the floodwaters gradually receded from the earth…” How similar this is to life and the testings we go through. God often delivers us from our storm but into a waiting pool. A time of stillness and inactivity. A time where we are forced to sit. But as I have mentioned here, God is not a waster of time and uses periods of waiting to draw us even more closely to Him and to deepen our relationship with God.
And then, soon enough, the olive branch appears. After Noah had waited these months for the water to die down, he released a dove. The first time, the dove returned right away because the ground was still covered. More waiting. But after the second time, the dove appeared with an olive branch, symbolizing that the waters are coming down. Dry ground is appearing. Did you know that there are olive branches surrounding us? Symbols of God’s faithfulness of deliverance? Signs of Him working even though it may seem slow? They come in the form of words from friends or family; a verse that speaks directly to your heart; a person being burdened to pray for you. And the list can go on. Be persistent. Keep looking. God is speaking. Noah had to send out the dove 3 times before he knew his wait was over.
Before you know it, God’s rainbow of promise will be revealed, symbolizing His forever faithfulness. It may not come in the time frame we hoped or in the way we had anticipated. There may be pain involved and overwhelming trials. But it will come if we choose to persevere. Because of Jesus, there is always hope.