A friend recently messaged me with this question: “How’s the lockdown going for you and Gene? I imagine your sailboat is feeling quite small these days.”
I smiled. Some days I would agree.
Seriously, where does one go to find solitary space on a sailboat? Sailor-Man works at the kitchen table and I generally work at my little desk about two metres away. He disappears into the forward berth and closes the door to make Skype calls, but I can still hear his voice. If that disturbs my concentration, I take my laptop into the cockpit. Problem is, that works only when the sun shines and the wind isn’t blowing.
I’m glad to say that Sailor-Man and I are still best friends. I think that’s quite an accomplishment considering the stresses we’ve weathered this year. On the days I feel overwhelmed, I take a walk and listen to praise music on my phone. Sometimes I sing aloud. Worship helps wash away worry. It also reminds me that God still sits on the throne of heaven. He’s working everywhere, at all times, and especially in me.
I’ve found this season of confinement humbling. It’s revealed areas in my life that need change or growth. It’s forcing me—in a good way—to open my hands and heart in full surrender to the Lord and to say, “Here I am. Change me. Do in me whatever You want. I’m Yours.”
This season has also reminded me of my dependency on the Lord. He’s shown me that He alone is my strength, my peace, my joy. He is the sure foundation that will never give way or fail me. I’m desperate for God. Let the chaos refine me and lead me into greater intimacy with Him.
This season has given me a new appreciation for Noah and his family. How did they handle being confined to their boat for twelve and a half months? (Genesis 8:13-16) We can only surmise. Theirs was truly a complete lockdown—no leaving the premises to buy groceries, take a walk outside, or meet friends in a parking lot while safe distancing.
Did they grow weary of seeing the same people, animals, and walls day after day? Did they complain because they couldn’t go outside or missed sunshine and the taste of fresh veggies? Did they grow bored with doing the same chores?
Maybe they weathered their circumstances with an attitude of worship. They’d experienced the power of God enabling them to build the ark. They’d witnessed Him bring the animals two-by-two. They’d seen Him close the door behind them and cause the rain to fall. And they realized that God, by His astounding mercy, had spared their lives. How could they not worship even though their circumstances were extraordinarily difficult?
A full year passed before God said, “Leave the boat.” Noah built an altar and worshiped with sacrifices of various sorts. (Genesis 8:15-20) Life settled down, and Noah became a farmer. But one day he got drunk and caused huge heartache to his family. (Genesis 9:20-27)
Think about it. Noah survived so much, but he wiped out when the chaos calmed. What happened? Again, we can only surmise. Here’s my thought.
Noah recognized his dependency on God for wisdom and strength leading up to and during his confinement on the ark. He experienced God’s presence and power in amazing ways. But when the stress eased and life returned to normal, he let down his spiritual guard and fell into sin.
Perhaps you’re like me—very aware of your dependency on God during these crazy days. You’re trusting Him to provide and protect. Maybe your prayer life has deepened. Perhaps you’re learning to worship in the midst of your pain. Maybe you’ve surrendered completely to His working in your life in any way He sees fit.
But someday the chaos will settle. The stress will ease and we’ll adjust to a new normal. The human tendency will be for our dependency on God to wane. Let’s remember that Satan is always seeking his next victim, and you and I are on his hit list. We need to maintain our spiritual guard against his evil tactics. As life settles down and things look less desperate, let’s stand firm in our faith, relying on God and recognizing our need for Him then just as we’re doing now.
#RelyingonGod #devotions #LessonsLearnedFromNoah