Genesis 6:14 – Make for yourself an ark of gopher wood; you shall make the ark with rooms, and shall cover it inside and out with pitch.
Life gets hard.
There is no way around it.
Sometimes we go through a lot of stuff and it just brings us to our knees.
I am not the kind of guy that easily gets sent to his knees when things get tough. Usually I complain a little but then I work to figure out a way to get through it.
Did you catch something there?
Something was missing in there.
If you read my last post 2 weeks ago you will have found that I reached one of those moments in my life that brought me to my knees.
But it wasn’t the event itself.
It was a culmination of events.
I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say that I reached a point that I could not handle life anymore.
I figured I could either continue down the path I was going, which was going to result in me alienating those who love me, or I could take action.
Again, if you read my last post, you will know that the action I took was getting away from it all for a couple days.
So what happened when God was missing from the world? When the people of Earth decided to turn their backs on God?
God made Himself known.
Genesis 7:17 – Then the flood came upon the earth for forty days, and the water increased and lifted up the ark, so that it rose above the earth.
He sent the rain.
He sent the flood
Many people see the flood as a vengeful God eradicating people from the planet. I don’t see it that way.
God needs to get our attention sometimes. He is due all glory and honor.
The flood that I went through destroyed my world. It reminded me that God is sovereign and on the throne.
Eventually, as we begin to understand that He alone is in control, then the rain begins to subside.
Out comes the rainbow.
The rainbow was the promise of God to Noah that He would never destroy humanity again through the flood.
And that is where God brought me to.
Genesis 7:5 – Noah did according to all that the LORD had commanded him.
Once I started focusing on His sovereignty, I noticed that life started turning around. My problems started to be removed and the desires started aligning with God’s and, therefore, coming to pass.
The future is bright. I have a newfound energy in my step because of the flood that I went through and the fact that God brought me through it. Many could see my God as vengeful. But He was leading me.
So let me give you an idea of what I changed to turn my focus toward God. I am not going to say this is a model, but this is simply what I have found helpful.
- Get away. I went away for a weekend and unplugged completely. I had no phone or computer. There was no TV. I took some books with me and studied. I read the Bible. I prayed. I fasted. I thought. I was able to focus on Christ and His redeeming work for me. Me. That is amazing when you put that in perspective. It would be as if you go to an ant hill of millions of ants and find the one with the hurt leg and pull him out of the millions of ants and nurse him back to health.
- I found an oasis. Literally. When I went away for the weekend I went to North Carolina and hung out at Bethesda Oasis. http://www.lifeimpactministries.net/project/north-carolina/
- I started asking for God to remove my pride. One of the biggest issues with humanity is that we are a proud people. When a problem comes along, it takes intentional thinking for me to give it to God first. As a typical guy, I want to try and figure it out on my own.
- The Bible. I’ve read the Bible in its entirety before. Multiple times actually. But it has been a long long while. I started last year reading the Bible, starting with Matthew and reading chapter by chapter of the new Testament. At the beginning of this year I started the Old Testament. So far this year I have made it through Joshua. I will tell you that my least favorite books of the Bible to read are the first 6 of the Old Testament. But they are also some of my favorite to quote. They are filled with so much amazing information and they are filled with a lot of painful numbers and locations and genealogies that require a lot of work to truly understand.
- Trust your accountability and the Word of God. Spending time with the pastors at my church and putting into practice God’s Word has been very helpful. It is also very hard to do. We get into a comfort zone. Trying to change is never easy, especially when you are married to someone who despises change (I love you Mimi, but you and I both know it is true).
- Listen to my wife more. God provides our spouses to help us. A man can’t lead a family without the help of his wife. If he tries to lead alone then he becomes a tyrant. If he stops leading and allows his wife to lead, then the family becomes weak. Leadership is not about doing what everyone wants. It is about doing the right thing and helping everyone to understand how it fits within the Word and will of God. My wife has helped me to become a leader.
So after the rain happened in the Bible and the changes were made in humanity, then the rainbow came out and humanity continued. It was a speed bump in the timeline of humanity. And my rainy season is a speedbump in my life as well.
But now I see the rainbow.
And God’s promises are clear.
I look forward to seeing this next chapter in my life, just as Noah’s family was looking forward to the next chapter in humanity.