*Bright Hope President C.H. Dyer reflects on current events and themes from Genesis to bring us today’s encouraging devotional.
Over the past two weeks Hurricane Dorian has ravaged the Bahamas and caused great damage in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Coincidently, at the same time as the storm was building and headed to the US shoreline,
I was reading Genesis chapters 6-8, the passages that describe the account of Noah and the flood.
Tragedies in life, just like floods and hurricanes, are critical moments in our lives that test our resolve, faith and mettle. Tragedies can swoop in, and in just days, hours, or even in minutes, cause large amounts of damage and effects—just like the Flood, or hurricane Dorian.
Some of life’s storms are devastating—like an illness, the death of a loved one, or a failure at home or work. These events rock us to the core, but the flood account in Genesis reminded me of basic storm preparation ideas that could prepare me (and encourage you) for the next stormy season.
First, God shut the door of the ark.
In Genesis 7:16, the Lord shut the door after Noah, his family and the animals entered the Ark. God knew what was coming and didn’t remove Noah from the situation, but prepared him for it, and sent him off on the rough journey ahead.
Lesson: God knows when we are going to be hitting a rough patch.
Second, Noah didn’t know how long or when the crisis would pass.
Lesson: Even though I know God is with me during a crisis, I will still have questions that will go unanswered until the time when those answers are revealed. Questions like… What will be the outcome of this storm? What will be left? When will this end, and how dark will these days be?
Third, Noah found signs during the storm and had materials ready to worship God after the storm.
In Genesis 8:9 – 11, we read how Noah sent the dove out of the ark to see if the water had receded enough from the surface of the earth. The first time the dove came back because the water was still high and there was nowhere for the bird to perch. But the second time Noah sent out the dove, the bird returned with a freshly plucked olive leaf!
That must have been a moment filled with so much hope and relief for Noah and his family.
Then, the first thing Noah did when he and his family and the animals left the ark was build an altar to the Lord (Genesis 8:20).
Lesson: Look for signs that God is in this crisis with you. Be ready to worship with your prayers and worship songs during and after the crisis.
Lastly, the storm didn’t last, but God’s goodness did.
After Noah built the altar, God blessed Noah and made a covenant with him, saying that never again would all life be destroyed by a flood. The sign of this promise was the rainbow, and God said, “Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember My covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth” (Genesis 9:16).
Lesson: No storm is fun. Some may be easy to get through, some will be more challenging, but there is always an ending.
God is good in the storm and after it. Our part is to not lose faith or trust in God but to hold on, enjoy the moments we can, and celebrate when the storm is past and the repair work is complete.