April 17, 2009
Better in the Boat
“By the twenty-seventh day of the second month the earth was completely dry. Then God said to Noah, ‘Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives.’” Genesis 8:14-16 (NIV)
The same thought came to me over and over again. “Call Jennifer,” the thought repeated insistently. I really couldn’t imagine why I would need to call her. Jennifer had been in the youth group that Barry and I briefly led years before. Although I had been very close to her at the time, I hadn’t thought about Jennifer for years, so I ignored my thoughts and didn’t call.
Months later, I ran into Jennifer’s mother at the mall. At the exact time that I had felt such a need to call her, Jennifer had been lying in bed in the hospital close to death. She had complications with the delivery of her baby and had almost died. Suddenly, I knew that it wasn’t just my own thoughts that had prompted me to get in touch. God, who knows all things, had been urging me to connect with Jennifer again during a period of great need in her life. To this day I grieve that I ignored God’s direction and wonder how I might have been of help to my friend. If only I had listened and obeyed.
In the account of the flood in Genesis 7 and 8, God speaks to Noah very specifically each step of the way. First, God gives Noah stunningly specific directions on how to build the ark. After the rains, flood and drying out period (a total of 371 days), Noah again waits for God’s voice to come out of the ark.
I find that amazing. I imagine myself in a boat surrounded completely and utterly by water with my family and innumerable animals for 371 days. I’m afraid that I would be scrambling out onto land for a little “me time” as soon as it looked dry enough! For two verses (Gen. 8:13-14), it is clear that although the land was dry, Noah was waiting for God to speak. He was not going to move until he heard God’s voice with the next set of directions.
In a beautiful scene in CS Lewis’ book The Horse and His Boy, Hwin, a wise horse in the story, faces a fierce lion. The lion, Aslan, is the perfect picture of the Lord in all His glory. The story continues like this: “Then Hwin, though shaking all over, gave a strange little neigh and trotted across to the Lion. ‘Please,’ she said, ‘you’re so beautiful. You may eat me if you like. I’d sooner be eaten by you than fed by anyone else.’”
Noah seems to have come to the same place as this wise creature. In Noah’s case it’s as if he is saying to God, “I would rather spend the rest of my days in this boat (and he lived to be 950!) than to take one step toward land without You.” Noah trusted God and believed that God would speak to him to give him the best direction. He is a model of righteousness that is lived out in complete obedience to God’s voice.
One of my greatest struggles is self-sufficiency. I long to be changed, though, into a woman who lives straining to hear God’s voice in every circumstance. God is looking for men and women today who will commit to the life-style that Noah embraced. He longs for children who will “rest in the boat” until He moves them forward.
Lord, so often I run ahead of You. Please help me to walk with You, listening for Your voice with each step. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
He Speaks to Me by Priscilla Shirer
Visit Amy’s blog
Include a time of silence in your prayer time. He wants to speak to you!
Pay attention to those “strong feelings” as you go about your day. Ask God if they are from Him. For those who have entrusted our lives to Him, we are filled with His Holy Spirit and can trust His leadings.
Have I ever missed an opportunity by ignoring God’s voice?
How can I make sure that I don’t miss future opportunities?
Isaiah 30:21, “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.’” (NIV)
Proverbs 8:34, “Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.” (NIV)
© 2009 by Amy Carroll. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Friday, 17 April 2009.