The Living translation of Genesis 8 gives a very neat summary of the flood timeline. The ark floated for 150 days before the waters receded enough for it to rest on the Ararat Mountain range - that’s 5 months. It took another 5 and a half months before Noah took the cover off the ark to take a proper look, and yet another 2 months before God released them to set foot back on dry land. So Noah, his wife and family, and ALL the creatures collected there were on board for over a year! When Noah began the Ark building project, I wonder if he realised he was pioneering the cruise industry?
Fortunately today’s cruises are not so long and certainly not filled with creatures of every kind, but can you imagine being shut in a less than luxurious cruise liner, with just your family, for a year? Not to mention all the chores of feeding and mucking out the animals, dealing with escaped creepy crawlies and the general smell of a shower-less environment! It seems Noah’s family managed well enough not to maim each other in the process and indeed, endured the year together. As much as they were blessed and honoured to be chosen by God for preservation and even to reboot the human race, I’m very glad I wasn’t part of Noah’s family!
Having said that, meditating on what they might have endured together throughout that 12 and a half months, does stir the soul to humility when I compare their journey with my own. How well do I get on with the people I live with - family or friends? How well do I endure difficult situations, usually scenarios of a much shorter time frame? Am I apt to look for ways to smooth the waters, or do I add to the turbulence of what others might be going through? Mrs Noah may well have wondered just what her husband was thinking after 5 months of floating around and no end to the water in sight. Do I add stress, worry, impatience and anger to my environment, or do I add hope, patience, love and understanding? The scriptures don’t elaborate at all on how the Noah Family enjoyed or suffered their cruise together, but it does tell us they survived! I’m so glad the heart of our good Father is always for more than just our survival. He wants us to overcome, supersede and be more than conquerors. And through Jesus, that’s just exactly who we can be!
Ask the Holy Spirit to help us be ones who add hope, patience, love and understanding to the experiences of the people around us today.