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Devotional: January 14, 2021

The flood continued forty days and the waters rose and lifted the ship high over the Earth. The waters kept rising, the flood deepened on the Earth, the ship floated on the surface. The flood got worse until all the highest mountains were covered—the high-water mark reached twenty feet above the crest of the mountains. Everything died. Anything that moved—dead. Birds, farm animals, wild animals, the entire teeming exuberance of life—dead. And all people—dead. Every living, breathing creature that lived on dry land died; he wiped out the whole works—people and animals, crawling creatures and flying birds, every last one of them, gone. Only Noah and his company on the ship lived.

The floodwaters took over for 150 days.

Genesis 7: 17-24 The Message

We have received a fair amount of precipitation the last few days, both snow and rain. Our backyard became so soaked that the lids lifted off a couple of our irrigation boxes! Of course, we have not been watering for months, so all of the water which soaked our backyard came from the heavens…. Amazing!

This part of Genesis 7 is a slice of the story of Noah and his family surviving the great flood. In many ways, this is probably the most depressing part of the entire story. It rains for days and days, and the waters keep rising. Things start disappearing beneath the floodwaters.

Yet the worst part is the death. Animals and people die in the flood. The list of the fatalities from the flood is long, and extensive.

About the only thing Noah and his family can do is to just count the days. And so, that is what they do. In verse 24, we find that they are up to 150 days! That is a long time to be floating without touching dry land.

Our current pandemic is a “storm” by many measures. The landscape around us has changed significantly. People have died, livelihoods have diminished, much feels like it has been destroyed. There is a sense, even though a vaccine is starting to arrive, that we are not out of this storm yet. As with Noah, even when the rain stopped, the water still needed to sink into the earth. No doubt, we will still have some time for all of this to sink in.

There are times in life when it is an accomplishment just to survive. We are never told exactly what Noah and his family did inside the ark. That part of the story is left up to our imaginations. Yet we do know that they survived! Eventually, slowly, the flood waters subsided. Noah and his family disembarked from the ark, and began to recover, and to thrive. I pray that we will do the same thing.

The good news, which we cling go even as we are still in the grip of this pandemic storm, is that all storms eventually end. Someday, the sun will come out, and tomorrow will be a better day…. (sort of like the words from the lead song in the musical “Annie”). But the sentiment really is true: eventually, we will get all the way through this storm. We will get through it in the same way God gets us through every storm- with His faithfulness, and His love, and His understanding.

Just remember: each day that we survive the storm is another day closer to getting out of it! Hold tight to God’s promise. Hang on. Try not to go crazy, and pray for God to end the storm as quickly as possible.

Prayer

Thank You, Lord, that You keep your promises. You have said that You will always be with me. Help me to be patient, when my patience feels thin. Forgive me when I try to rewrite Your plans. Protect me, and guide me, so that as I come out of the storms of life, I will see that You were with me all the time. I want to proclaim that You did not abandon me. May my actions show my faithfulness to You.

Gratefully I pray these words in the name of Your son, who has power over the storm, Jesus Christ, Amen


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