Thursday, November 8, 2012

The Promise of the Ark and The Rainbow

The other day, I had a real struggle with my five year-old trying to get her ready for preschool. She wasn’t feeling good and didn’t want to go, but I knew that she was just backed up and if she got active then she would feel better (sorry for the TMI).  Every step was a negotiation—“I’ll let you stay home if you want, but you should change your pants so you feel better”  “You will have to at least go  with me to drop off sissy so you might as well get dressed.”  “We are going in to look at the book fair so I have to brush your hair.”  “if you come  in with me then I’ll buy you a book.” “If you go to preschool and don’t feel good, I’ll come back to get you.”  Finally came the big one “If you don’t go to preschool, then you can’t go trick or treating.” All I heard from the backseat was sniffling.  “Well? What is your decision?” “I’m thinking.. . . “ she paused for a long moment or two and said in a small, squeaky voice“O.K.  I’ll go to preschool.” She was just fine.

I know that a lot of that fight was over control.  She wanted it, but sensed that I had it.   I was struggling with maintaining it and not losing my cool.  I was so frustrated becauseI knew what was best for her.  I wanted to scream “Your life would be so much easier if you would just go along with me.  Trust me! “

Aren’t we the same way with God?  We want all the control and panic when our life seems to be spiraling out.  We try to desperately hang on to any scrap of control. How utterly ridiculous to believe that our lives are better off in our hands rather than the creator of the heavens and the earth!  All the while God is whispering, “Your life would be so much easier if you would just go along with me.  Trust me!" 

God doesn't negotiate, but he may just give us one simple step at a time.  We are then more likely to say "O.K.  God, that is doable.  I can go along with that, but don't ask me that big thing over there."  Sooner or later we realize we are headed down the right path, doing the very thing we felt was too difficult for us to do.

Most days are a power struggle with all my children.  Some days are so sweet because it all comes together and our mornings flow smoothly and are full of peace.  Those are the days I treasure, because I feel so in control.

But, I’ve come to realize that control is an illusion.  Even on those peaceful days, God is control, not me.  He knows that allowing my kids to cooperate is just what I needed at that moment.  Although I don’t relish it, chaos is only a reminder that I don’t hold the reins. While I might think that peace is what I need, God knows that there is something in me that needs to be reminded of His sovereignty.

I can’t help but think of Noah.  When the floods came it must have been very chaotic.  He had spent 120 years being in control as he built the Ark.  He went day by day, building the ark and obeying God and not a drop of rain had fallen yet.  Even then, God was in control and had given Noah the exact specifications for the building.  His life was characterized by days of quiet dependence and faith.  Then the rains fell. The springs of the earth erupted and all he could do was hang on tight.

I just recently realized that in all the directives that God gave Noah, there is not one that mentions putting in a rudder or captains wheel.   The ark was at the mercy of the waves the whole times.  Each large swell was a reminder that Noah had to trust God. God was in control despite what it looked like.

Sometimes we may feel that life is tossing us around in the storms.  We must realize at those moments God is in control.  He holds us in his loving arms and will keep us safe and sound. He knows exactly where we need to be and after the storm will guide usto the shore to await the next storm, for the next time we need to be reminded that we are utterly dependent on God.

Noah and his family were saved by God and so are we.  We will get through the storm if we keep our eyes on our Father.  After the storm,  Noah was given the blessing of the rainbow because he stayed the course. It was a reminder of God’s everlasting covenant with his believers that He had opened up the clouds and He had closed them. Noah was safe in God’s very capable, very sovereign hands forever and so are we.

I find it interesting that when we see a rainbow, even one that we call full, it is only part of the full circle of what is actually created.  On earth, we have life to block our view of God’s everlasting love. Sometimes life circumstances can interfere with our view of God’s love.  Someday, when we are in heaven and can look at our life from God’s perspective, we will see that the full circle of God’s love was always there.  During the storms, the rain prevents us from seeing it, and even in the bright sunlight, we only see a portion of the blessings we receive.  

God is always in charge. We may feel like we are at the mercy of the waves, but He hold us in the ark of his love until we reach the safety of the shore.

John 14:27
“I am leaving you witha gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannotgive. So don’t be troubled or afraid

Romans 8:37-39
But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. ForI am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities,nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, norany other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God,which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Deuteronomy 7:9
"Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, whokeeps His covenant and His loving kindness to a thousandth generation withthose who love Him and keep His commandments;