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“The Rains Came Down and the Floods Came Up…” August 24, 2016

Posted by Michelle Knoll in Devotionals.
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Dear Reader, have you ever heard that old Sunday School song? The song is actually about the wise man who built his house upon the rock, and the foolish man who built his house upon the sand. When the rains came down and the floods came up, the wise man’s house stood firm but the foolish man’s house went SPLAT!

But in our story, the wise man built an ark.  And when the Lord told Noah it was going to rain in seven days, the wise man Noah took his wife, sons, and daughters-in-law and got into the ark. They sat in the ark for seven days, with all those animals, and waited.

And then?storm cloud and lightning

The rains came. And they came. And they came.

It was a downpour like none other. It rained so much that it lifted the ark up off the ground! The ark floated during this terrible storm, tossing back and forth.

What do you think Noah felt like? Do you think he was scared? Do you think he was sad? All of his relatives were gone now. Do you think he was grieved? I think he was.

What do you think was going on in the ark? Do you think it was quiet? Or noisy? Do you think the animals were all calm during the storm? Or do you think they were agitated?

There are so many things we don’t know about this great flood, and how the animals handled it, and how Noah and his family handled it. We do know that Noah had stored enough food for all his family and all the animals to eat. We do know that it rained solid for forty days and nights. We do know that the waters covered the entire earth so much so that the water level was way above the mountains that existed at the time, at least 22.5 feet above the highest peak.

And believe it or not, the water stayed there for 150 days after it was all over.

Rain is good for the land, but when it seems like the rain isn’t going to stop, it can get very wearying. Have you ever been at home and listened to a downpour? Did you ever wish it would stop? Then imagine how Noah felt, listening to rain for forty whole days.

I can’t imagine what that was like. Listening to the rain that won’t stop, feeling the ark pitch and rock, hearing the animals in their different rooms, looking at his wife’s face, his sons’ faces, their wives’ faces, wondering what they’re all thinking.

And then floating for 150 days. Nothing to do but float, and look out the one window he had built into the ark.

Safe, and together. But now alone in the world.

Readers, you may be going through a problem that you feel will never end. You may feel all alone in the world, and you may feel weary because of what you’re facing. You may be scared. You don’t know the future, and you’re not sure you’re going to make it.

Be at peace. God is with you. And just like Noah, God is watching over you, and He will keep you safe.

Sleep well tonight.

 

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The Miracle of the Animals August 23, 2016

Posted by Michelle Knoll in Devotionals.
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Welcome back to our bedtime story.

It’s so easy to read the Bible and just fly through the story of how the earth began, how it was tainted by the evil of Adam and Eve, and how the evil grew to the point that God had to step in and do something about all that evil. If the midst of all the pain, we often don’t stop to think about all the miracles that God performed in the midst of all the trouble.

I mean, with the limited tools that Noah had, how exactly did he build a three-story boat, you know? Was there anything else around that was anywhere near that tall?  Well, yes, there was the tower of Babel. I believe it was never completed because God confused the language of the people and they couldn’t communicate enough to finish the project. (there’s an entire separate story to think about, right there!) And now, there’s this huge boat that’s probably not anywhere near water, and yet Noah is building it all the same.

And then, there were the animals.bear for blog post 1

Where did they all come from? And how did they know where to go? And how did they knew exactly when to go, to arrive at the ark on time?

Noah was told by God to take seven of each clean animal, and two each of the unclean animals, one male and one female. God wanted to make sure there would be animals that survived the flood so they could repopulate the earth once the flood waters were gone.

cheetah for blog post 1

God thought of everything, you know? And He did so because that’s the way He is.  He doesn’t forget important details. He doesn’t do things haphazardly. He doesn’t rush through major projects.  He plans and He thinks and He keeps us in the forefront of His mind.  Why? Because He loves us.

But the animals! Think about it! We don’t know exactly how they got there, but animals of every kind were placed on the ark.

Suppose you were building a sailboat in your backyard, and you looked up to see dogs coming toward you from everywhere. You don’t know how they got there, but your yard is now filled with dogs of every size, shape, and color. And they’re all looking at you.

snake for blog post 1Don’t you think Noah was freaked out just a little by all the animals? And yet, there is no record of Noah being hurt by any of them. They just… calmly… got on the ark.

Think about this as you pull up the covers tonight and turn out the light. All those animals, all being patient, not attacking each other, not attacking Noah, being calm. God really had His hand on that situation, don’t you think?

And God has His hand on your situation, too. Why? Because He loves you.

Good night. Sleep well.

 

Board by Board August 12, 2016

Posted by Michelle Knoll in Devotionals.
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Greetings, and thanks for coming back to read some more of our story.

Noah has been given instructions by God to build a boat.  And not just any boat, but a very large boat.  God gave Noah the description of the boat, the dimensions of the boat, and how it was to be built.

It was to be three stories tall and have rooms. 1376180

It was to have one door.

It was to have one window.

It was to be coated with a substance so the water wouldn’t get in.

Do you think Noah was scared? Even though Noah trusted God, and was faithful to God, think about all he was going through.  God had just told him that since the world was full of evil, God was going to destroy all the living beings on the earth. This included all of Noah’s relatives that weren’t in his immediate family.

We don’t know if Noah thought about all of his relatives.  We don’t know if he cried for all the people who would be lost. We do know that Noah was considered a messenger of God, so we can believe that he wasn’t afraid to tell all the other people, including his relatives, that God was going to destroy all living beings because of the evil in the world.

So Noah built the ark, board by board.  And Noah delivered God’s message to all the people.

He worked.  He spoke. He worked. He spoke.  Board by board.  Word by word.

It wasn’t up to Noah to make the people believe.  It wasn’t his job to make the people repent.  He couldn’t force people to understand. He knew what was coming, and he did what he had been called to do.

But still, it must have been hard. These were people he knew, you know?

Sometimes, doing what God wants us to do is not easy. And God knows this.  And His heart aches for us when things get hard. But God gives us strength to get the job completed.

Board by board.

Think on the strength God gives you for each day you face.  Rest in knowing that He cares for you.

Sleep well tonight.

 

A Hard Day for Noah August 11, 2016

Posted by Michelle Knoll in Uncategorized.
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Our bedtime story continues.

God wasn’t the only one hurting.  When He shared with Noah His decision, it broke Noah’s heart as well.  Noah was in an area with other people.  People he knew.  Neighbors, and relatives, too.  Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents.  Even great-grandparents that were still living.  See, people back then lived a really long time.  So he had lots of family members all around him.  (I would imagine birthday parties were really crowded back then.)

But this is what God said to Noah: “But with you will I establish my covenant; and you shall come into the ark, you, and your sons, and your wife, and your sons wives with you.”

Noah had to face the fact that all of his relatives were going to be destroyed along with the earth.  All of his cousins, all of his aunts and uncles, all the people he had known for his entire life.

He lived in a world filled with people.  And now?  There would only be 8 people left.

There is no record of Noah’s response to God when God told him the only people on the ark were going to be him and his wife, his sons and their wives.  But I’m sure Noah wasn’t happy about it.

Noah had made a choice to follow God and be obedient to God’s leading.  In our previous bedtime story, found here, we talked about what Noah was like.  We mentioned that he “walked with God.”  We don’t know for sure, but perhaps Noah watched his relatives and wondered why they didn’t walk with God.  Why didn’t they make the same choices that Noah had made?

We don’t know.  And we’ll never know.

But Noah made the choice to walk with God, and obey God. even though no one else did.  Plus, Noah made the choice to not judge his relatives, all those cousins and aunts and uncles that would not be in the ark with him and his wife and sons and sons’ wives.

It was a hard day for Noah.  And it would be followed by many more hard days after that.

There will be times in life when things will happen, and you won’t be able to explain them. There will be times in life when you will have a hard day, or a hard week, or even a hard year. But God is always there with you, even through the hardest of days, weeks, and even years.

And Father God understands your pain. So cling to Him, even when you don’t understand. Even when the day is hard.

Remember His Love for you, as you rest tonight.  G’night.