I've been thinking a lot about Noah. It probably started when I was working an outdoor wedding during the massive outpouring of rain began, but after the jokes about the ark have passed, I'm left looking at a family who lived through a risky 'yes.' When we look at the account of what Noah and his family lived through we see that the Lord actually gave them a lot of information up front. God was incredibly specific about the ark itself, who and what was supposed to be on the ark, food provision for Noah's family and it would seem for the animals as well. He also was very specific about what Noah would get hit with: 40 days and nights of unrelenting rain and a total wrecking of life as he knew it. (You can find all this in the pages of Genesis 7.) What the Lord did not tell Noah was how long he would be living within the walls and waves of his obedience. As I read the timeline of life on the ark through chapter 7 and into chapter 9, all told, it took a YEAR before the Lord let Noah, his family and all of the animals back out into the new version of life on earth.
I have to wonder what that must have been like for Noah and his family. Even though they knew the Lord had rescued them, I am sure they had very real feelings, very real questions, and they experienced a redefinition of what it meant to have peace in the One who was wrecking everything they knew in His rescue. Even though they knew He had provided everything they and the animals needed to live through the ordeal, I am sure they had very real feelings, and very real questions, about what Hope in the One who can see what the end of it all really looks like.
If I said to you, that 6 weeks ago life as we know it was wrecked, I would know that sounds incredibly dramatic, but I do believe that would be incredibly true. What has transpired, has been a series of events that I can only describe as one of the wildest storms I've lived through thus far. My children and I were in a car wreck that is still sending ripples through my body and impacting our days. The limits of the human body and how it keeps the score of emotional and physical trauma are ever before me. We have entered the stage with my toddler where being healthy is more rare than being sick. Kindergarten has blessed my daughter and kicked this Momma's tail. The hearts of my family have been broken by the realities and unrelenting and bullying brokenness of cancer. We have seen hard rain, breathtaking grief, asked hard questions, and prayed prayers in groans, sobs and whispers.
However, through those same days, we have seen the wonders of the Lord in His rescue of us, His incredible gift of time, His making all things new in baptism, how He tells a story, and the redemption He will do with a 'yes'. We have seen Him raise up the sun and bring it down again with a glorious and breathtaking brush stroke of His creative hand, we have seen Him call people by Name and declare them His, we have seen Him beat back the darkness with the His Light of life dwelling in the redeemed, and we have been on the receiving end of the love of the Body of Christ in a way that I would never have known how to ask for.
I don't know how long these waters will rise and fall, but I know that He will not leave us here. I know that His peace has nothing to do with how we feel or how things appear, but it is a wave of physical and emotional provision to not be crushed by what seeks to overwhelm. I know that His hope means that He has seen the waters after they dry up, and He prepares that place for us even now, here and in Heaven. I know that He is near. I know that He is good. I know now more than ever it is not about Him trusting me with what I can handle, but that I literally cannot handle anything without trust in Him.