Waiting in Faith for the Waters to Recede

by guest author Jenny Stricklin

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Photo credit: Kelley Dague

Weeks into the Covid-19 quarantine, I saw a rainbow. Spread out over my house after a heavy rain. And it reminded me…

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Back in early January, when 2020 was still so fresh and clean, I had asked God to speak.  The new year held so many secrets and I wanted to be the first to know them. Opening my Bible, I asked God for just one hint. I love to get a hold of what God is up to if He’ll let me and then dream about how it might play out.

Of all the verses in those couple of chapters I read that day, one tiny part of a familiar story jumped off of that thin page.

Gen 8:1 said, “But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and livestock with him in the boat. He sent a wind to blow across the earth, and the floodwaters began to recede.”

I bet I read it a dozen times looking for clues.

-“God remembered Noah in the ark” – Remembering here (I learned) doesn’t mean God had forgotten Noah, but that he was about to take action for Noah’s well-being.

-“God made a wind to blow across the earth” – The word wind here can also be translated Spirit. As in, the Spirit moved  over the earth.

-“The floodwaters began to recede” – This sounds hopeful. And it was. But it was a slow, gradual process lasting the better part of a year, per the rest of chapter eight.

My perspective that day was super limited. Obviously, I could never have predicted this pandemic. But God let me sense that He was up to something. And unfortunately, it looked like it would involve a lot of waiting. Waiting is hard.

So that morn, I pondered Noah’s plight and typed these notes in my phone:

“Even as with Noah, Lord, help me be faithful and patient over the next year as “the waters recede” at a slow pace. When there’s no dry land in sight or change to be noted, help me to walk in faith like he did. In the uncertainty, the insecurity, the fear…. In the isolation, the unknown, the frustration. When he had no clue of what You were doing or when You’d calm the storm or how You would rescue…When there was no end or plan in sight, only deep, dark waters of mystery, Noah waited on You.”

I remembered these words again that day. And oh how I needed to pray them again.

crashing-waves-1494707Noah was in the middle of the MOST COLOSSAL GLOBAL CRISIS of all time. And his struggles were likely common to ours – long waiting, isolation, limited Information, total lifestyle change, deep loss, fear of the future.

And in the middle of the mystery, after 40 days of isolation and flooding, God was moved to action. He shut off the water supply and inch by inch by inch, the water subsided.

After many long months, Noah and his family were released from the ark. The land was dry again and suitable for life and flourishing.

—Sometimes floods precede flourishing.

—Sometimes suffering is the soil that nurtures great fruitfulness.

—Sometimes we just have to cooperate with God’s bigger plan for our lives & for the world.

I won’t pretend to understand the flood. Thankfully, He promised He wouldn’t do that again.

And I won’t pretend to understand Covid-19.

All I’m sure of? GOD WANTS OUR ATTENTION. The One who allows the struggle, will be the one to save us from it.

The rainbow that day was a sure sign of His commitment to us…

And perhaps also an invitation to recommit ourselves to Him.

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