Hanging on the wall above my screen is a portrait entitled, “Noah: Day 41.” As a kid I would sing a rather upbeat song (Rise and Shine) about him and it all seemed so very simple. He built and ark, the animals came by twosies twosies. It rained for forty days. Then, “the sun came out and dried up the landy landy / Everything was fine and dandy dandy,” according to the song.
It was only as I grew older–and read the Bible without pictures–that a more complete story developed. You see, it did rain for forty nights and days…and then it was almost an entire year before Noah stepped foot off the ark. (That’s why the animals came off in three-sies three-sies.) Seriously, depending upon which calendar you are using (Lunar, Solar, Hebrew, etc) the time ranged from 364 to 377 days. That is a lot of time spent believing a promise without seeing any progress–and living in stink the whole while.
It is often real easy to believe God for something big for a short period of time. After all, we live in a world of instant gratification and we love the idea of being a Spiritual Hero. We can bolster ourselves with Christian music, podcasts, sermons and our friends and really be bold as we actively flex out Spiritual muscles of prayer and the Word of God. I can see Noah doing that for forty days and nights–after all God told him this would happen.
However, what happened when he opened the window and saw utter destruction? He didn’t even see the tips of mountains for about 220 days. Can you imagine what was going through his mind for all of those months? Is it something like what has gone through your mind when you know God has a promise for you, but you simply can’t see anything happening that is moving you towards the promise?
This last week we suffered a loss. In hindsight, I can see how God prepared us for it–we had even watched the movie Do you Believe days before. Like Noah, we had two choices. We could wallow in self pity or we could choose to praise the Lord and celebrate His blessings.
My children’s church song from long ago told us to do the same thing as Noah–“Rise and shine / And give God the glory, glory / Children of the Lord.” It echoed the Word:
For we know, brothers loved by God, that He has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction. 1 Thessalonians 1:4
You see, through belief, we have POWER. That power allows us to push back the lies and instead focus on the truth of God’s promises for His children.
Noah, I am assuming, either knew or learned a lot about boats during his ark building adventure. He didn’t have James to remind him that although ships are very large, they are steered with a tiny rudder–just like how our tongue (words) control our whole bodies and attitudes (James 3:4).
That POWER we have starts with our words which in turn affect our thoughts and attitudes. Can you picture Noah saying out loud each day, “Now I will rise and shine and Give God the glory, glory!” Perhaps he embraced a more “grown up” song such as Big Daddy Weave’s “My Story.” He would echo their echoed words, “this is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior, all the day long.”
Are you getting the theme here? The secret to Noah’s year at sea and the secret to our unwavering faith and belief is taking the focus off of ourselves and praising the Lord.
“To tell you my story is to tell of Him.” Big Daddy Weave in “My Story”
What is your story? What did you do on days 41-364/377? What POWER filled words do you use?