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A Painful Conversation August 9, 2016

Posted by Michelle Knoll in Uncategorized.
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Welcome back to our storybook.

Tonight’s story is not an easy one.

Sometimes tough decisions have to be made.  Have you ever had to make a tough, really tough, decision?  I’m not talking about deciding whether or not you’re going to play this video game, or that video game, when you really like them both.  And I’m not talking about trying to decide which movie you are going to see at the theater.  Yes, those can be tough decisions, but the type of decision I’m talking about had grave consequences.

God came to Noah one day, and said, “Listen.  I have made a decision.”

Noah could tell from God’s tone of voice, God was very upset.  Angry?  No.  Upset?  Yes.  Grieved?  Yes.  Ready to fling lightning bolts at the people on the earth?  No.  But God was very, very sad, because to get rid of the evil in the world, He had to do something very, very hard.

God said to Noah, “I’m facing the fact that the world is filled with violence, and there’s no stopping it.  All that I created has become corrupt.”

It was a hard day, for God and for Noah.  God was having to face the fact that all He created had become tainted with evil.

Do you truly understand what “tainted” means?

Let me see if I can give you a couple of examples.

Suppose you’re at a restaurant with a friend, and you order unsweetened tea to drink, but your friend orders sweet tea.  Then suppose that the server accidentally swaps the two glasses when she brings them to your table.  So your friend takes a sip and says it’s not very sweet, and then adds sugar to the tea.  Then you take a sip and realize your tea is not unsweetened, which tells you that the server mixed up the glasses.

You want to switch them back, but then you realize: your friend has added sugar to your unsweetened tea!  Is there any way to get that sugar back out of your unsweetened tea?  No.  It’s been tainted with the sugar, and now you can’t separate the sugar from the tea.

Or suppose you are making brownies for dessert, and you need to add oil to the mix.  However, you read the amount incorrectly and add too much, and you don’t realize your mistake before you pour the oil into the bowl.  Now that it’s in the bowl, it’s too late.  You can’t get it back out, right?  The brownie mix has been tainted with the extra oil.

This is what had happened to the earth.  God said the earth had become “corrupt” which means it had been “spoiled, ruined, destroyed.”  All because of the wickedness of man.

God was brokenhearted.  He wasn’t angry, He was brokenhearted.  It was a hard day for God.

Let me ask you a question:  have you ever created something – an art project, a science project, a drawing, something creative – and someone else, either through an intentional act, or by accident, ruined what you had created?  How did you feel as you looked at your tainted creation?  Did you run to your mom or dad, or to a close friend, for comfort over what was lost?

Well, God had no one to run to, to comfort Him in His loss.

Can you see the broken heart of the Creator of the universe?

One thing you can be certain of: He sees you, and He knows every single time something happens to break your heart.

Dwell on this truth, as you drift off to sleep tonight.

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What God Found (or maybe Who) October 23, 2011

Posted by Michelle Knoll in Devotionals.
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Welcome!  If you haven’t read any of the first stories in this storybook, then I encourage you to start at the beginning.  And for those of you who have already read those stories, it’s been a year since they were posted, so you might want to go back and review them.

In our last bedtime story, we talked about how the earth was filled completely with evil.

It was really bad.

The Lord repented of making man. This means that He changed His mind about creating man.  He had big dreams for the people He created, but they no longer cared about God’s dreams or ideas or even God.  He wasn’t angry, though, he was hurt.  Deeply hurt.

But… He was still full of Love.  So He looked and looked for someone to share that Love with, even when the whole world was full of wickedness and evil.

Let’s stop and think about that.  Suppose you lived in an area where the crime was horrible, and you wanted to move away to a safe place.  Okay, but suppose there wasn’t a safe place anywhere.   That would be scary, wouldn’t it?  Well, that’s the way the world was, at this time in its history.  There was NO place to go, to escape from evil.

Sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t it?

But even in the midst of all of this nightmare, God found someone who wasn’t involved in the wickedness.  He found Noah.

But what made Noah so special that God would notice him, among all the people in the world?

Well, Noah obeyed God’s rules and treated other people the way they were supposed to be treated.  He wasn’t mean like everyone else.  He didn’t do evil things.

That would be someone you’d want to know, right?  Me too.

Noah was a really good guy.  He did what God wanted all of mankind to do: he followed God’s rules.

Then, the Bible says something very important: Noah walked with God.

When you take a walk with someone, they can see you, you know?  They can know things about you.  They can watch what you do.  Noah knew God could see him, and Noah knew God watched everything he did.  Noah thought about God and about God’s rules.  And this caused Noah to be obedient.

Do you keep God on your mind?

Do you think about God’s rules?

This is what Noah did.

Or do you forget God is there, watching everything?

This is what the wicked and evil people did.

Have you ever been forgotten?  Or have you ever been waiting on someone to pick you up, and they were late, and you felt like they forgot all about you?  It’s not a good feeling, is it?

Well, it hurt God’s heart to be forgotten by the people He had created.

But did God get angry over that?

No.  He did not.  And we’ll talk about that more in our next bedtime story.

In the meantime, just remember: God’s never forgotten about you.  He always thinks about you.

Do you think about Him?

Good night.

No Words Can Express September 20, 2010

Posted by Michelle Knoll in Devotionals.
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Alright, let’s go back and review:  those that were followers of God decided to marry those that were not followers of God.  And at that point the Lord said man’s days would be 120 years.

Even though God was being beyond patient, things were getting bad.  Really bad.  Worse than really bad.  Extremely bad.

Evil was all over the place.

And God saw it all.

He “saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”  (Genesis 6:5)

Only evil continually.

Imagine…

If you had been God, at that point in time, and you had gone through the heartbreak of man not remembering your simple rules, and you had to remove them from the garden created just for them, simply to protect them from an eternal life of pain and suffering…

…and then you had to watch as they grew more evil with each passing day… hurting each other, hurting themselves, filled with evil thoughts and imaginations, not caring about how they were acting, hateful, spiteful, boastful, proud… the list goes on and on…

What would you have done?

Would you have turned your back and said, “Aw… it’s okay…” and just let it continue?

Or, would you have done something to stop it all?

In all honesty, God could have allowed His pain to turn to anger.  “I’m DONE with all of you!  I’ve had enough!!!”  And then wiped every single person off the face of the earth, out of His anger.

But… He didn’t do that.

In the next moment, we see the heart of the King of Kings.

He repented… of making man, and He was grieved in His heart.

Let’s look at what those two words mean, to get a clearer picture of the emotion the Lord was feeling.

“Repented” means “to be sorry, to regret, to move to pity, to suffer grief” and a lot of other meanings close to these.

“Grieved” means “to be in pain, to be pained, to be grieved, to vex, to wrest, to torture” and a lot of other meanings close to these as well.

Can you see what the Lord was going through?  It wasn’t anger at all. It was deep, deep, deep pain.

So He spoke of the pain in His heart:  “I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the land, from man to animals to creeping things and to birds of the sky; for I am sorry that I have made them.”

There are no words to adequately express the pain the Lord felt, that day.

Man tossed God’s Love aside.  Man didn’t care about God at all.

But God cared about man.

So He looked.

And looked.

And looked.

He scanned the heart of every single man, woman and child on earth, to see if there was anyone at all who had not forgotten about the Lord.

Tomorrow night, we will discuss what He found, and what He did about it.

Sleep well.