You know how sometimes we want to take on something good, something we feel convicted about, but it seems like too BIG a thing for us to do? In Genesis 6, God asked Noah to build the ark – it is a huge ark, estimated to be 450 feet in length, 75 feet in width and 45 feet high1. Not only is it huge, it has to be properly built to house all the animals, float and obviously, water-proof. And it is estimated that it took Noah from about 50 to 80 years to build it.
And he did it. Genesis 6 ended with a matter-of-fact statement, that Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he (KJV).
Especially in a new year when we are wondering if we ought to take on a project, we may feel like we need some assurance that it is something we can do. I can’t help but wonder how Noah did it. Building the ark was such a demanding task – not only physically but emotionally. He was at it for at least 50 years, during a time when there was no flood. But I think he did it, knowing that God was with him.
Two faith ‘helplines’ to hang on to
- God is watching
God has been watching Noah – He didn’t just say in Genesis 6:14 (KJV) Make thee an ark.. and then abandoned him. God gave instructions on how to make it, He told him why this ark would be useful (flood), He gave him the promise that Noah and his family will be safe, along with all the animals, and yes, God reminded Noah to bring food. In Genesis 7:1, God invited Noah and his household into the ark because He had seen his righteousness. I think if we pray to God about our project, He will guide us because He is watching.
God will help
Even though there is no record that God helped with the building of the ark (a project that was meant to be taken on by Noah), God certainly helped with bringing the animals in. Otherwise, it seemed impossible how a man could guide a wild animal into the ark, much less seven of every clean animal, two of every unclean animal and seven of each bird.
Pairs of all creatures that have the breath of life in them came to Noah and entered the ark.Genesis 7:15 (NIV)
And you know it is very hard to guide a bird! Once a bird mistakenly flew into our house because the walls were painted light blue, and couldn’t find its way out no matter how we tried to shoo it in the right direction. It literally flew right into the walls (plural) before finding its way out through the window.
Building God’s Temple – Another mega-faith project
The other record of a mega-project was the building of the temple. And one of the verses I memorized last year was:
“All this,” David said, “I have in writing as a result of the Lord’s hand on me, and he enabled me to understand all the details of the plan.”1 Chronicles 28:19 (NIV)
This verse gave me an ‘aha’ moment about God and how He helped – sometimes a project could be so big, so complex, yet we can find a way to do it with God’s help. It also reminded me not just to think of God helping with physical healing or miracles, but that He is also there with us for structurally, mathematically and logistically complex matters. We would never know if a project will work out, but if it is an undertaking that is fun for us and brings us joy, and we pray for guidance and willing to listen and change along the way, maybe we can build something good in this new year.
Have Faith in your Grand Project
Genesis 6-7 Journaling Prompt
Do you have a project that you wish to take on, especially if you know you will succeed in it?
What has been something fun & joyful that you did for others in 2020?
God, it scares me to take on this project. Heck, I feel silly for even thinking that I can do it! But what if you’re watching? What if you help? I pray that if this project is what you desire for me to spend time on, that you will walk with me on this.
Books that made me think ‘I can’
I get commissions for purchases made through links in this post.
One of my favorite lines in The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM) is in the author’s note, where Hal Elrod wrote that we were born with the innate desire and drive to continuously grow and improve2. It just made me feel like there is nothing wrong with me for wanting to do more beyond the 9 to 5, wife and mother role. And sometimes if we need the extra oomph to feel motivated, we can turn to these books to tell us ‘You Can’.
1 Taken from the ESV® Study Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright ©2008 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
2 Elrod, Hal. The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life (Before 8AM). Hal Elrod International, Inc. All rights reserved.