Written on December 4, 2014. By Shari Norvell
Day 4 – December 4
Glistening, moistening particles of Heaven’s provision make their way to treetops, blades of grass and everything between as I write. Occasionally, the gentle force of the raindrops dislodges a tenderly hanging leaf.
I watch as the holiday lights make their circuit of colors and patterns and drip drops slide down each bulb as if they came simply to be part of the festivities.
I’m savoring these moments, as drizzly drips from Heaven are not our norm. When it comes to rain here, we say its Old Testament or nothing. Rarely a spritz or sprinkle, our rains are most often downpours.
This was not the case for those in our story today. Dwelling in a desert, rain was the last thing they expected, as they were accustomed to nary a drop. And the only thing dryer than the dirt that stirred beneath their feet, were the hearts beating within. Except for Noah.
Within, he carried a cry that he would willingly to take all the way to praise. For he was not unaware of what flowed through the land. But it was not a flood that could sweep him away. He was solid. He was faithful. He was righteous.
God heard his heartbeat and it so matched his own. God could trust Noah, because Noah trusted God. Noah’s trust released Heaven’s Hope. For this story is not one of destruction, but restoration.
Noah was not simply invited to build an ark. Though that would be a leap of faith, there was a greater risk he took. For his invitation was to Geshem, which means “bounteous rain” (in Noah’s story), “big rain” (in Psalms) and “abundant rain” (in Kings). Further definitions of this word mean to wash away all that hinders abundance or bounty.
God’s heart was desperate to pour out on His people again. Once was chosen to stand right beneath the pitcher. One who said, “Whatever it takes God.” His agreement with God included building a boat, but began with allowing his own heart to be flooded, revealed and renewed. Noah hadn’t forgotten who God was, but he longed to remember who God still longed to be.
The first flood was his. The second, that of the earth. For many, time stood still, or was frozen by the could have’s and should have beens. But for Noah and his family, time moved as swiftly as the yes that flew from his heart at Pappa’s invitation. Noah was a time redeemer, leaving no lag time between Pappa’s invitation and his agreement. Later, the Israelites would be invited not to ride a flood, but walk through it. But they would resist God and time would become a commodity they would wish to have back. Noah’s journey was forty days, their’s forty years. Resistance is an exercise in futility that withdraws deeply and does not give back.
What a sight met Noah as he disembarked from the Ark. A rainbow, snuggled within a cloud that said nothing would ever be the same again.
My bow I have given in the cloud and it is a token of a covenant between Me and the earth. Genesis 9:13
A sign, a seal. A promise fulfilled. And a declaration to the earth that God would look near and far from that day on, finding a people with a heart to restore, redeem and return every expression of Heaven to its fulness. A people unaffected by what lurked in corners and crevices, because they know who dwells in the center of their heart.