And so, I've committed to this study through the Bible in three years plan - what was I thinking? I won't lie, it isn't going well.... I could blame it on the headache or the lack of sleep, holes in my memory or kids disrupting...but what it really is...well...it's just that I am not studying this Word to know the words on the page, but to know the Author, the Living Word..and when He speaks, I tend to linger long on the passage, listening to His voice. Conversing with Him. So, that old familiar story of creation is exciting, the story of Noah's ark is taking my breath away, because the Author, He meets me there, not in ink on page, but His Spirit on the tablet of my heart. And lately, I have been stuck..stuck on these four words, simple words, really.
"But God remembered Noah"
Right there, black words on white page. And I read them, words that I have read so many times before, but this time, I pause and then read them again...perhaps seven times I mouth the words right outloud. Genesis 8:1. Oh, yes, there is more to the verse...but I never make it that far. Because I've read about the storm, the waters that flood and the man and his family whom God chooses to preserve through the storm. He is an extraordinary man, this Noah. He is regarded by God as righteous...and when you come right down to it, God's judgment is the only one that matters. But, this story, as so many stories...it is not really about Noah at all, but about the God who saves, delivers, anchors. This is who I really want to know...and so I mouth those words again.
"But God remembered Noah..." Genesis 8:1a. Four words packed full for me. The water and waves, they may rock the Ark I am in, but they can not strip me of the hope of those three little words: "...God remembered Noah..." Noah was not forgotten. Did he ever feel like he was forgotten in an ark tossed by the waves and full to the brim of life - you know the kind of life I'm talking about - smelly, noisy life? I read and reread those words. The ark, a year on the water, all those living breathing animals - even a large ark would seem like close quarters for a family of eight and two of every unclean animal, seven of every clean. Let's not kid ourselves. It was stinky business. But God remembered Noah. Did Noah ever wonder when it would end, how long the flood outside would rage on? Did he ever question God? I don't know, but for some reason, I doubt it. Just considering that he did all as the Lord commanded him makes me think his faith was unshakeable. He knew his God.
So why are these four little words being played like a drum over and over in my head? What about me? I know what it feels like to be in the storm, rain falling, water rising, and the boat, it may rock, but it will never be overturned because it is held upright by the anchor of His grace. The torrents of pain swell in my head, beating like a drummer, my mind cries again for relief. But God, He gives me this, "But God remembered..." He who penned my life, the Author of all life, He remembers! His grace carries through this storm and through this trial. Just as He remembered Noah and those critters on the ark, He remembers me. He will not forget.
And then, oh, the Spirit of the Living God, He whispers this verse to me, and my heart, it leaps with joy. Isaiah 49:15-16a "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! I have engraved you on the palms of my hands." (emphasis mine) Sweet words, aren't they? This, He whispers to a mama who did indeed forget her children...but even so, HE WILL NOT FORGET ME! Just when I feel like all is lost and that the One in whom I have placed my trust is no where to be found...just then, when the pain in my breast swells to unbearable and I feel like I have been abandoned, right there, He is with me - He is with you - HE HAS NOT FORGOTTEN. And you and I can know that He has not forgotten, He wears your name, my name, in His nail pierced hands, and just like in Noah's day, God remembers...and He is the Ark that carries us safely through the storm...the Anchor that holds when all else fails...so thankful that God remembers.
Just really, overwhelmed by His grace, His goodness...that He chooses to remember me! In the midst of a headache that has lasted too many weeks, of waking again on the bathroom floor, no idea how I got there, the tiny room spinning mercilessly around me...HE HAS NOT FORGOTTEN. He has engraved me on the palm of His hands.
And for you today? For you, His message is the same. He who remembered Noah remembers you. He sees your storm and He will carry you through. Your name is engraved on His hands and His love for you is beyond measure.