NOAH AND THE ARK FOR TODAY: GENESIS 6:9 – GENESIS 9:17.
The story of Noah and the ark has always captured my imagination. Noah was an intriguing man. Unwavering and steadfast in his faith with a will of steel. A man who also had to wrestle with his own ghosts and demons, who often did not win this fight, but who always turned back to the Holy Father. I am convinced that his wife and kids, initially were not impressed with his Ark building venture. I’m not even sure if they truly believed even at the end that the great flood would come. They helped him build, none the less. I’m sure they mumbled and groaned quietly to themselves behind his back. It was physically hard work and I am sure that most of those animals were not easy to handle and care for, but that must have been the easiest part of building the Ark. It was most likely the people’s comments that almost broke Noah and his family. This tested their faith beyond measure. It had the potential of sinking the project, before it got started. Noah and his family continued and stuck with the project. They built for many days and nights.
When Noah closed the door of the Ark behind them, he must have wondered in his heart of hearts if he would have to, like the town comedian, open the doors and climb out again after a few days, amid the loud laughter and jeers from the crowd. Then the rain came, just as God promised. Noah had to look on, uselessly, witnessing the pain and suffering of his drowning neighbors, without the ability to help them. He had to listen to their screams and pleas for help, begging him to open the door and let them in. Life in the Ark could not have been easy, Noah and his family must have felt claustrophobic, stuck inside and later very tired of each other’s company. They must have been fed up with the animal smells and noises day in and day out.
COVID 19 is a bit like Noah’s flood. If you are like Noah, you are safely locked inside your Ark. The drops have started to fall and you are safe and sound indoors. For you, it is also after a while not going to be easy. You will wrestle with your own ghosts and demons, your own loved ones or lack of. You will also wait every day for the rain to stop, for the water levels to start decreasing. For the infection rates to start stabilizing and the numbers to start decreasing. Do you have enough faith and trust to stay in self-isolation for the rest of the flood? I’m sure we will also, like Noah, send out the dove after a while. Try to find out when it will be safe to open the door, to climb out and once again walk on the green grass with friends and family. Our dove is the media. The never-ending articles on the impact of this virus on the world. Our barometer is the emotions of the people around us, the underlying flavor of the messages that we will receive on social media today. Our time in the Ark has maybe just begun. Noah’s dove also came back empty-handed a few times, without the good news that he was waiting for. Noah and his family had to keep waiting, just like you and me. Then the day arrived when the dove brought back an olive branch and Noah saw the rainbow.
Our COVID 19 olive branch is coming. We will soon be able to stand outside with our friends and loved ones and look at the rainbow of God’s mercy. Keep an eye on the water levels. Send out your doves. But most of all stay firmly anchored in your faith. Be thankful for the blessing that you can be a Noah, unwavering, fearless and unshakable in your faith. I know that God will be with all of us during these trying and difficult times. Have faith, be thankful for the mercies that He has shown us, pray regularly and be good to each other.