by Molly Jo Realy @MollyJoRealy
I’m a bit behind in reading my Bible on the One-Year plan. Okay, to be honest, I’m about 331 days behind. What can I say? It’s been that type of year. Well, now that I have a in-and-out-of-office career, I figure I can listen to the Bible through the app on my phone while driving. Less road rage. That’s all I’m sayin’.
I love Genesis. The stories of Creation, the beginning of Man. But I also don’t like it. The beginning of Man being, well, man and all that. You know the drill: Eve ate the fruit, Adam blamed her, she blamed the snake, God held them all accountable and now we have things like pain during childbirth (tell me about it!), fields that need tending, and bloodshed.
But then we get back to a story I like. The story of Noah and the Ark. Yup, childhood songs. Epic movies. This is the stuff, I’m tellin’ ya. And you would think, having read at least this part of my Bible multiple times throughout the year that I’d be immune to it. Just familiar words. You would think.
So, here’s what I learned today in my umpteenth listening to Genesis Chapter 7. It starts with Verse 13:
The world has fallen, fallen, fallen into chaos and disorder. And the world is laughing at Noah as he and his sons build the Ark. And the world drowns as Noah and his family float on safety.
Here’s what got me today: “Then the LORD closed the door behind them.”
Do you get that? God said, “Hey, Noah. Build an Ark.” And Noah did. God said, “Make sure you have male and female of every living creature.” And Noah did. And God said, “Get your peeps in there, ’cause it’s about to go down out here.” And Noah did.
And God locked them in.
Bam. Just like that. No one coming in. No one going out. Trapped. Isolated. Alone.
But not alone.
And God was the one who secured the door.
What does that even mean?
Well, I can tell you when I heard that today I paused. I listened to it a few times. I read it. I thought about it. Because it got to me. God locked them in! Why would He even do that?
Because He wanted to secure them, the parents of the future. He wanted to seal the Ark so completely that they could not be harmed by the outside world, the world tormented by the actions of those left behind. He wanted to make sure no evil entered the Ark, and He wanted to make sure no good would get out and fall prey.
Doesn’t life feel like that sometimes? Like we’re trapped, like God has isolated us from the world, like we can’t move around or get out of a situation? Like we can’t get anywhere, there’s nowhere to go? There’s Noah and his family trapped inside for months with those animals. I can imagine after a while, it would get pretty stinky. I mean, I only have four cats and what they do to that litter box . . . *shaking my head, here, folks.
God wanted to protect Noah so fiercely, so completely, that He sealed the door. He locked them in. Noah didn’t have the key. Until God gave it to him. Until the coast was clear, if you’ll pardon the pun. God wasn’t about to bring Noah this far in his salvation journey to let him sabotage it. It’s that old adage, “If God brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it.”
Well, God brought Noah to the Flood, and He certainly brought him through it to the other side.
I can also imagine during their time on the Ark, there might have been some grumbling. Some, “Wouldn’t a roast beef sandwich taste good right now?” “Yeah, but we can’t light up a barbecue in here.” Or, “I miss my friends. Even the irresponsible ones.” Or, “I just want to see dry land.” Yup. I grumble a lot when God puts me in my spiritual Ark and tells me to stay put. And then I feel guilty. Because He’s God, right? He’s got my best interest at heart.
It’s hard being in a place you don’t know when or how to get out of. It’s hard to trust God when all around you is darkness and solitude. But . . . Keep floating. Because the next chapter is God taking care of you. And the chapter after that is His promise to protect you forever, and not do it again.
Next time you feel alone, trapped, unheard, pushed in on all sides, dark, abandoned . . . Remember that God is with you. And what you’re praying for, He may have sealed the door against it for reasons you’ll never know. If you’re in a stinky part of life right now, hang in there. The rainbow’s coming.
And Frankly, My Dear . . . : That’s all she wrote!