Archibald Family

Archibald Family

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Things We Can Learn From Noah

The past two days I have been pondering about what I can learn from Noah, or what God would like me to gain in the scriptures of Noah and the flood.  I have read, reread and just pondered (Genesis 6:9 - Genesis 9:17).  I have some thoughts, nothing profound, some things rehashed ... but the things I've been pondering.

1.  Genesis 6: 8-9  Because Noah was righteous, found favor with God and was blameless among the people, he was given protection and frankly, his life.  This isn't a huge insight.  I believe we all have this.  We all have the opportunity each day to be made righteous, and find favor with God.  He desires to protect us and give us life that He created in us.

2. Genesis 6:22, 7:5   I watched Evan Almighty the other day, because this Bible story was so fresh on my mind.  I had a little chuckle.  It isn't accurate at all, but defiantly entertaining.  However, it gave me a fresh perspective on how the people had to have been ridiculing Noah.  What he was building wasn't something that could be hidden, but something big that had to be seen from his surrounding neighbors and even towns.  People had to wonder, had to have questioned and had to have laughed at him.  But Noah continued on.
     There have been countless times that I believe God has laid something on my heart, or I heard his voice giving me direction or have seen something that could only come from Him.  And within minutes after, I'm questioning if I heard it right.  It doesn't say that Noah questioned, it says that he was righteous and had favor with God, blameless with the people.  Because God said it, he didn't question but just did as he was told, whether he was the laughing stock of the town or not.  I could think of a recent event, where God laid something on my heart to do, and in doing so it made me stop what I was doing and pause to meet the deadline I was up against, it also caused a little extra from my pocketbook, and it caused me to stop and be kind to a complete stranger.  All three I was having difficulty with, but mostly I was complaining that God would make me stop and do.  I wish I approached that incident differently, and I wish my heart was like Noah ... obedient.  Obedience brings favor.

3. Genesis 7:16b   I hadn't really noticed before.  But Noah didn't have to figure out how to shut the door, or when to shut it.  God saw that Noah did all that He had asked and closed the door for him.  God sealed his promise of protection to Noah.  God put a physical divider between the outside world and it's taunts and questions of doubt from His promise, favor and protection.  Noah stood on the right side of the door!

4.  I can't help but be jealous of the worship Noah had to have had on that ark!  We each are different.  We all experience the worship of God in our unique ways.  Nature is one of those ways.  My husband likes to hike, and I have joined in and have experienced God that way.  I have spent times at the beach encountering the love of God there.  But many times I simply go to the zoo.  To see all the different animals, and see the creativity our God has, it amazes me every time.  Noah had much time to be in the creativity of God.

5.  Genesis 8:1, 9:15  I often wonder what God thought of all the rest of the people.  I thought he was focused on Noah and those on the ark.  But it says "But God remembered".  I can't help but get a picture of God drifting his mind off to the store keeper down the street, the family across the bay and even the animals asleep in the trees.  I get this overwhelming sense that this act wasn't easy for God, but something He had to do:  almost like an artist not pleased with his painting and washing it clean to start over.  That is what God was doing, and I can't help but sense God was saddened of destroying the work He put into it the first time around.  Because scripture used the word "remembered", it was like God directed His mind to the current place and that was with Noah.  And it was used again later when God sees the rainbow.  We've always viewed it as our remembrance of the time of Noah and God's promise ... but I see today it was His remembrance too.  His remembrance tells me of the heart of God, he was grieving, and will remember the past in the midst of creating the future.

I love God's heart!  The more we read, the more we find of the God we serve.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Still Learning

I'm still camped out in Genesis 6.  I just don't feel led to move on quite yet, yet I'm not sure exactly what I'm supposed to see.

I reread the chapter, remembered what I just wrote about the other day and thought about the events of yesterday and the day before.  Monday I woke, dreading the day as it was the day I dreaded for ... you could read about it in the previous post.  I still didn't do much that day, as I just don't know exactly how to grasp this new way of life.  Yesterday a very important matter needed to be tended to, and I went with my husband to complete the task.  Then I asked if he would go with me to the Farmer's market and I would drive him to work, then I proceeded to go visit my parents.  I came home, Duane was home.  I look back at yesterday and see that yes there were matters that had to take place, and even matters that I brought God with me into.  However, I still avoided being in the silence and even the opportunity to look at Him face to face in our home.

It's hard to articulate.  I did nothing "wrong".  But I can't help but look at these verses and ponder.

God made us to need companionship, as He made Eve for Adam.  It is natural to want to be with one another, to have company and conversations.  But I am reminded of just three chapters back when God was walking with the two in the garden.  Why am I still avoiding the quiet?  I could be walking with God in the solitude of our own home!

So today I sit.  I have my time with Him.  I have my music playing in the background, and one of the first songs is "I Am Not Alone" and I shout it at the top of my lungs.  It was a promise that came over me.  I felt a smile fall upon me.  I was experienced strength in the promise as I fought off a lie that was captivating me to avoid our new home.  And peace came to stay.  The music remains.  But something seems a little different today, I'm welcoming the opportunity of silence, and hoping God will come walk with me today.

God found favor with Noah.  I hope God finds favor with me today too.  And finds this home welcoming Him in, with me greeting Him at the doorway.

Monday, November 2, 2015

The Flood

Genesis 6
The Flood

I have been away the past ten days, as I have been working in Colorado.  And in the midst of work I have the privilege and joy to see my girls.  I brought the youngest with me, so it was a real treat for the four of us girls to sit and have dinner ... laugh and have heart to hearts.  Its what I live for, it is my favorite thing.  

I love my husband too.  I knew Colorado wasn't home anymore when I was there, and I longed to be in Duane's arms.  And the moment I stepped off the plane into his arms, it felt right.  This too is my favorite thing.  

Today life goes on ... and it feels like it has forgotten about me.  My girls are in Colorado doing their thing, finding their way in life - very well, I might add, and Duane is off at work doing his thing.  I sit here in the quiet of the house, wondering what my thing is.  And it feels like a flood of emotions are washing over me.  Today is the day I have feared.  It is the day there isn't a box to unpack.  It is the day things are just about settled.  It is the day that is full of quiet.  It is the day I am alone - and I don't know what to do.  

Some may welcome such a day, perhaps others may understand.  But today marks a very important shift in my life ... where I see an empty nest, and the life I once knew is no longer.  "Now what?" rattles in my mind all the way deep to the core of me.  Tears flow so easy.  And a sense of lostness feels like a warm blanket.  

Today I opened my Bible, hoping there was a new light, a new prayer, a new connection with God.  I continue to pray a little whimper just pleading God will help me through this time and comfort me.

"The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.  So the Lord said, "I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth-men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air-for I am grieved that I have made them.  But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord."
Genesis 6:6-8

I always believed that God and His wrath wiped out the earth.  But today I see it was with great sadness, He was at a loss and was grieving.  

I often sit and wonder if God understands the sorrow I am currently experiencing.  If He thinks it is silly, or unnecessary.  I often wonder what I am to do with the heaviness I experience, and hope that He is there to carry it.  We know God is big enough, but does He understand ... does He get what exactly I am going through.  Today I see the truth.

Now my girls are doing what they are suppose to be doing.  Finding their ways and moving forward in their lives.  They have reached the step that we have dreamed about since they could start dreaming and expressing themselves.  We have arrived.  Yet, now they move forward and I have let go of their hands.  They are walking by themselves.  We aren't connecting at the dinner table anymore, running out the door and shouting where they are off to, coming home at the wee hours of the night and coming into our bedroom expressing their woes of the day.  I don't hear their laughter, nor their tears.  I don't get to see what the details of their days look like anymore.  And with each passing day the phone gets quieter, emails are seldom ... and a matter of fact, it is usually me that reaches out first.  But again, this is normal.  This is what is and what is to be expected.  Yet it saddens me.  

And it saddens God.  It saddens God when we turn ourselves away from Him, doing things on our own.  We think we can go onto the next few steps without His help, guidance or just us "checking in".    We walk by ourselves.  The prayers that were once habits and even rituals are now seldom and far between, God's ears are getting quieter.  The prayer journal that once was filled quickly and fully is becoming slower to fill.  And it is usually God that reaches out first ... but then I can't help but wonder - do I even notice?  

Yes, God sent the flood because wickedness filled the earth.  Our own selfish desires filled the earth.  Our own lusts and ways.  But it is also clear that these things became what filled all of our days, and we turned against God - and just spending time with Him that He so longs for.  

I want to be like Noah!  I want God to find favor in me - I want Him to find me as a righteous woman, blameless and that everyone sees that I walk with God.  (Genesis 6:9)  And even though I'm still experiencing a flood of emotions these days, and seeing the tears fall, I want God to still see me and be pleased.  It is the ultimate cry of my heart.  So today I write, today I sit and take the time in study and learn more of Him, and today I will reach out to Him for help along this transition - and know that His heart totally gets what I'm going through today.  

And may He send a flood today.  He promised us that He will never flood the earth again and destroy it.  But may He send a flood of His presence over me today, and may I have the wisdom to see Him.