In Genesis 8 we read the story of Noah and his family and all of the animals on the ark. The rain has stopped pouring down, but the waters still cover the earth. They are waiting for the earth to dry out. It’s about seven months later, but finally, the mountain peaks are beginning to poke above the water level. Noah released a raven first, and it flew back and forth until the earth dried up. Then he also released a dove, but it returned to the boat when there was no dry ground to be found. Seven days later Noah rereleased the dove, and this time it came back with an olive leaf in its beak. This was a sign to Noah that the floodwaters were almost gone and the earth was drying up. Another week later, Noah released the dove again and this time it did not return. The earth was drying out, but Noah was still waiting on word from God for when he and his family could leave the boat. It would be another two more months before Noah would hear God say “Leave the boat, all of you – you and your wife, and your sons and their wives. Release all the animals – the birds, the livestock, and the small animals that scurry along the ground – so they can be fruitful and multiply throughout the earth.” (Genesis 8:16-17).
Noah and his family lived on the ark with all of the animals for over a year. Much of that time was spent waiting for the earth to dry. Then, when the earth was finally dry, Noah was waiting for God’s okay to leave the boat.
Waiting is hard. But when we are waiting for a move of God, we know the waiting is worth it because the result will be better than we can imagine. We know this to be true because God’s promises are always much more than we can imagine, because “His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts”(Isaiah 55:8-9).
Our attitude through the waiting often determines how long God makes us wait. Our gratefulness after the waiting determines our response when we see the promise fulfilled. When Noah finally released the animals and left the boat with his family, the first thing he did was build an altar and sacrifice burnt offerings. As the aroma lifted to Heaven, God was pleased, and humankind was given a second chance. God made a covenant promise with man that day. He would never again curse the ground or destroy all living things on the earth. (Genesis 8:20-22). God then gave a sign to Noah, and to us today, of His covenant. He put His rainbow in the sky as a reminder for us whenever we see it (Genesis 9:12-17). God keeps His word, and we are His beloved children. He will stop at nothing to reconcile us to Himself, and He fulfilled His promise when He sent His only Son to be presented as a sacrifice for our sins once and for all.
Whatever you are waiting on today, remember the promise of the Lord. His rainbow is in the sky to remind you of His presence and His love for you. He hasn’t forgotten you in the waiting. He is working all things out in His perfect timing. Trust Him in the waiting and the door will be opened for you to walk through, and you will see His promise for your life fulfilled.
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