Build Your Ark
“By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God.” Hebrews 11:7 MSG
Noah chose faith over fear. As silly as he looked building an ark, where there was potentially no way that water would ever touch it, all while being mocked and made fun of, Noah persisted. Can you imagine this happening where you live, your neighbor building this huge cruise ship on their property? I’d think they were nuts.
But Noah persisted. He followed God’s path and direction.
There are times, still far too many, that I go in my own direction. Three years ago I was desperately attempting to bail out of the house I lived in. If you go on Sunday drives, you’ve probably driven by a place like mine. I live out here in the country. It’s very quiet, it can be very lonely, it was somewhere I talked myself into believing I just didn’t want to be.
So, I began looking for a house closer to the church I was attending. Every quality I looked for in a house had something to do with what I was going to do with the church. “This would be a great room for my IF:Table”, and “this would be the perfect place to have book study” and so on. There was nothing else on my mind. The only thing I focused on was getting the heck out of my current situation.
But it didn’t happen. Every house I looked at didn’t work out for some reason or another. I was lamenting God daily for not giving me my houses. All of them.
The realization started settling in that moving just wasn’t in the plans. I was stuck in this miserable house at this miserable middle-of-nowhere address in this miserable pit of self-pity. You see my moving had little to do with church. It was the first time in my life that I’d tasted the realities of depression and my motives for moving had to do with being near my friends.
When I finally surrendered my own plans and followed His plans, that’s when things started to change. When I chose faith in God over fear of loneliness, my life started to move in the most unexpected direction.
The story of Noah is so special because he was just an ordinary guy, living his life and doing his thing. And God noticed him. He chose Noah for the task of repopulating the earth. Imagine if Noah would have said no.
I want to be more like Noah. I need to be more like Noah. Noah listened to God’s idea and followed through on it. I think I hear God’s idea for my life and before he even has half the sentence out, I’m already off doing my thing. But I’ve built the ark and I’m floating on the water and now I’m waiting for God to tell me to open the door and come out. I’m not sure what that will look like but I’m confident that I’m doing a much better job at following his lead than I have in the past.
In Genesis 6 we see that every time God commanded Noah to do something “Noah did everything God commanded him to do”. There were no questions or hesitations, he just followed what he was told. This is what true faith is. Noah gives meaning to the words “living fearlessly”. He didn’t care that he was mocked daily. He didn’t care that he looked insane. He didn’t care how long building the ark would take. God said to build the ark and Noah said, “okay”.
My faith in God has grown immensely since looking at all those houses. I’m so grateful that he didn’t let any of that work out for me. I’m no longer attending that church because of distance but the friendships I made while I was there are priceless to me. I’m learning to lean more into those spirit promptings that I feel inside the pit of my stomach just below my heart. I’m learning to say “okay”.
Caramel apples. It still blows my mind. That is my ark. Caramel. Apples. So weird.
My prayer for you, kind reader, is that you would build your ark. I pray that you build your ark with confidence and don’t listen to the bullies. That you would say “okay” when God changes the direction you choose. I pray that your faith in Him smothers your fears, whatever they may be and that you are ready when he says to swing open the door.
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What a beautiful look at Noah – never saw myself building an ark, but as I look back over my faith walk of decades, i see the arks in my past, and the flood waters that poured into a couple of them cause I took it upon myself to decide when to open the door!! Thanks for this, Tina. It just makes so much sense to just ‘build an ark.’ The Gospel is just so simple and we so complicate it, don’t we. Caramel. Apples. Makes me smile!
Thank you for always taking the time to read these. Your words mean so much to me and I’m grateful for them.
Love this post, Tina. Thank you for sharing your story, along with Noah’s. Honestly, when I take the time to read my Bible and really absorb the stories, I am overcome with gratitude that most of the stories of God’s patient love involve people like me. I also think about Peter a lot. If God could forgive one of his best friends before he betrayed him – and even prophesy the betrayal, I feel like he can use and love little old me. I’m no better or worse than Peter. 🙂