October 29, 2016
READ: Genesis 8:1-12
After waiting another seven days, Noah released the dove again. This time the dove returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak (vv.10-11).
“Are we there yet?” This timeless question could either trigger a benevolent smile or produce a scowl on the face of a harassed and patience-worn parent. Like a small child, we want what we want, and we want it now. I can only imagine how Noah felt each time he peered hopefully out of the ark, only to see the dove he’d sent to find dry land returning to the vessel. Yet another seven days . . .
More than a year had gone by since the springs of the great deep had burst forth and the floodgates of heaven were unleashed on earth (Genesis 7:11). A world that had never before experienced rain was now completely submerged. The deluge itself lasted only 40 days. Drying out, however, was another matter. God had been very vocal when commissioning the ark. He provided specific construction instructions and guidelines for who and what should enter. But now He was silent. Noah and his family waited and then waited some more. Had God forgotten them?
While they waited and wondered, God remembered and sent a wind to recede the waters (8:1). Though Noah and his family didn’t know it, God was working on their behalf to restore order. Noah’s faith must have been bolstered when the ark finally came to rest on a mountain. He must have been thrilled when the dove finally didn’t return. But he waited until God spoke and told him to leave the ark (v.16). His patience and trust were rewarded with a renewed world—one memorialized by rainbows (9:13).
Today’s culture of instant gratification puts us in conflict with God’s timing. If Noah had taken matters into his own hands, he may have found himself sinking in deep waters. When God seems silent, it’s time for us to wait and trust him to sort things out in a way we never could. He’s always worth the wait!
365-day plan: Acts 14:1-28
Read Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8 to see how God views time.
Do you lose patience when God doesn’t seem to answer fast enough? How can you learn to trust God’s timing more fully?