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Waiting… Waiting… September 14, 2016

Posted by Michelle Knoll in Devotionals.
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Greetings, dear readers. I have a question for you.

Have you ever been waiting for something to happen? Just waiting, because there’s nothing else you can do? Did it seem as if the thing you were waiting on was never going to come?

Well, Noah had to wait a long time for all the water to go away. The water had risen way above the tops of mountains. Mountains! Everything had been covered, and then some. And now, the water had to drain away.

Just think about it. They were floating along, gently swaying back and forth on the surface of the water, and suddenly –

Bump!

The ark came to rest on a mountaintop. Yet it still wasn’t time to get out of the ark. Noah and his family had to wait.

Two months later, the tops of mountains could be seen, finally! But it still wasn’t time to get out of the ark. They had to wait.

Another forty days pass, and  Noah finally sends out a raven. The raven flies back and forth, back and forth. But it still wasn’t time to get out of the ark! They still had to wait!

Then Noah sends out a dove, but the dove couldn’t find a place to land. So the dove came back. And they waited. Another seven days, and Noah sends out the dove again. This time, the dove brings back an olive branch, and Noah knows that the water is finally down low enough that trees can be found. However, they don’t get off the ark at that moment. No, they still must wait.

After another seven days, Noah sends out the dove again, and this time it doesn’t come back. The dove has found a place to call home. Do you think it was time to get off the ark then? No, it wasn’t. They still had to wait.

Could you have waited that long?

From the time the ark rested on the top of a mountain to the time Noah and his family finally stepped off the ark, seven months had passed.

Once again I ask, could you have waited that long? Waiting for seven months to be able to stand on land would be a hard thing to do, don’t you think? And yet, that’s what Noah and his family did.

When Noah started building the ark, he didn’t get any indication from God about how long this “storm” was going to last. At least, the Bible doesn’t say that he was given any idea about how much time this situation was going to take. Likewise, we don’t have any indication that Noah had a hard time with staying on the ark. He just did it, you know?

Have you ever been in a situation that you wanted to end quickly, but it didn’t look like the end was in sight? Have you ever wished for something to be over with? Have you ever prayed and begged God to please take away the bad thing you’re having to deal with, because you just don’t want to deal with it any more?

We all have things in our lives that we’d rather not deal with. We all have situations we would like to see end. Everyone longs for the time to come when we can say, “Whew! Glad that’s over!” Most of us have never been through something like what Noah went through – not even close – but some of us have been through situations that were very hard, and very drawn out, and we just got weary with it.

Dear Readers, there’s a phrase at the beginning of this part of the story that is so important, and I want you to think about this phrase as you go to sleep.

“And God remembered Noah…”

See, Noah was never out of the Lord’s sight. God knew right where Noah was, the entire time. But this phrase said that God remembered, or He considered, Noah’s situation. He knew Noah was getting tired of that ark. And He knew how long it was going to take for all the water to go away. And He gave Noah grace to last until it was finally safe for Noah and his family to get off the ark.

And God knows where you are, and He remembers – considers – your situation. And if you will talk to Him, and ask Him for help, He will give you grace to handle what you are going through. No matter how big, no matter how small.

Rest tonight knowing that you’ve not been forgotten. God has you on His mind.

G’night.

 

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One Little Comment Can Mean So Much September 19, 2010

Posted by Michelle Knoll in Devotionals.
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Welcome back!  For those of you that haven’t read any of our bedtime stories yet, these are built on the greatest story ever told, starting with Genesis.

We now focus on one little comment in this entire story that is so full of meaning, it’s hard to find words to describe it all.

At the end of the “generations of Adam,” the story states that Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.  Noah was 500 years old when he had these sons.  Or… at least had the first one.  We don’t know if they were triplets or not.  We just know Noah became a dad at the ripe old age of 500.  (Can you imagine being 500 years old, and changing your kids’ diapers??)  🙂

After this, the story says that the “sons of God” began to marry the “daughters of men.”

This is a sad statement, really.  What this sentence means, is this: the people who called themselves “followers of God” began to marry those that weren’t followers of God.  And apparently, they didn’t care who they married.

And then… the Lord makes a very interesting comment.  He says, “My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, because he also is flesh; nevertheless his days shall be one hundred and twenty years.”

Just what exactly did the Lord mean by that comment?

There are a lot of different thoughts about this comment.  Some say that the Lord was saying, “I’m only going to be patient with you humans for another 120 years, and then… that’s it!”  They say that He was fed up with man’s wickedness, which resulted from Seth’s descendants marrying Cain’s descendants.

Then there are others who say that God was reducing the life span of all men to a maximum of 120 years.  Let’s face it, mankind had been living a lot of years up to this point.  Why, did you know that Methuselah lived for 969 years, and Adam was still alive when his great-great-great-great-great-great-grandson Lamech was born???  (Talk about a big, yearly family reunion!)

Still, others say that this verse actually foretells how long man will be on the earth.  The idea is, when the Lord said “days” He meant “time” and when He said “years” He meant “divisions of time.”  This, they conclude, is a foretelling of the institution of the Jubilee year, and God was saying man would live on this earth for 120 Jubilees, and then the end of time will come.

You know what?  We could speculate and speculate, and stay up all night, wondering which explanation is the correct one.  They could all be wrong, and then again, they could all be right, at the same time.  Because with God, that’s possible.  He could have been talking about all three situations, at one time.  After all…. He’s God.

But the point is this:  God was stating His Love for mankind.  He was willing to extend His patience even with the wickedness going on, because He loves His creation, man included.  He was also willing to shorten man’s lifespan, because when man lived for hundreds of years, he had more time to get into more trouble, you know?  Likewise, God was willing to give man a clue as to how much time he might have on the earth, before time ran out.  Because God doesn’t want anyone to be left behind, when time runs out

He loves us.

So the important questions, from this curious statement He made, are these:

— Are you involved in wickedness that is trying God’s patience?

— Are you banking on living a really long time, which is causing you to put off a decision to follow the Lord with your whole heart?

— Are you thinking that life on this planet will last forever, and nothing will ever change?

As you go to sleep tonight, think about your own life.  God, Who is loving and patient and kind, and Who loves you with a passionate love, doesn’t want you to run out of time.  He wants to make your life the best it can be.

Are you making Him wait?

Why would you do that?

Talk to Him tonight, as you go to sleep.

When God is Silent… September 9, 2008

Posted by Michelle Knoll in Devotionals.
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Have you ever gone to a friend, to ask that person a specific question, because you needed a specific answer?  Has that friend ever told you, “Um…. I’ll get back to you on that.”  So you had to wait?  And wait some more?  And wait, even more?

I hate that, don’t you?  But you wanna know something?  I’ve done that to people myself.  So I don’t really have room to complain about that one.

There are times though, when we go to someone with a problem, and we really need an answer.  And we want the answer right then.  And we can’t understand why we have to wait on the answer.

I can remember, as a child, going to my mom with a question, and either because she didn’t know the answer, or because she was in the middle of something else and her mind was occupied, she would tell me that I had to wait. 

Waiting is hard.  And I’m human; I don’t like to wait.

I really don’t like to wait on God to answer my questions.  There are times when God is silent, very silent, and when I have a question burning in my heart, or I’m facing a problem, I don’t like it when God doesn’t answer me immediately.

To be honest with you, I hate it when God is silent!  I really hate that!

It’s really easy to be religious and say “God’s timing is perfect.” That is, until you’re facing a situation that you really need some advice on, or you really need to know what to do, or how to decide on something.  At those times, when you REALLY need to hear from God, it’s frustrating when God is silent.

Very frustrating. (more…)