Noah was 600 years old when the floodwaters arrived on earth. Noah, his sons, his wife, and his sons’ wives with him entered the ark to escape the floodwaters. It rained upon the earth forty days and forty nights. The flood remained on the earth for forty days. The waters rose, lifted the ark, and it rode high above the earth. The waters rose and spread out over the earth. The ark floated on the surface of the waters. The waters rose even higher over the earth; they covered all of the highest mountains under the sky. The waters rose twenty- three feet high, covering the mountains. The waters rose over the earth for one hundred fifty days. After forty days, Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made. He sent out a raven, and it flew back and forth until the waters over the entire earth had dried up. Then he sent out a dove to see if the waters on all of the fertile land had subsided, but the dove found no place to set its foot. It returned to him in the ark since waters still covered the entire earth. Noah stretched out his hand, took it, and brought it back into the ark. He waited seven more days and sent the dove out from the ark again. The dove came back to him in the evening, grasping a torn olive leaf in its beak. Then Noah knew that the waters were subsiding from the earth. He waited seven more days and sent out the dove, but it didn’t come back to him again. In Noah’s six hundred first year, on the first day of the first month, the waters dried up from the earth. Noah removed the ark’s hatch and saw that the surface of the fertile land had dried up. In the second month, on the seventeenth day, the earth was dry.

God spoke to Noah, “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, your sons, and your sons’ wives with you. ~Gen. 7:6-7; 12; 17-20; 24; 8:6-16 (CEB)

There are times that I feel that I am adrift, not knowing where I am going or what I am meant to do, literally afloat at sea and no idea what to do.

Noah sat in his ark bobbing about on an ocean, not in control of where he was going, clueless as to when his ordeal would end. All he could do was to wait on God’s timing. Eventually, over the long and landless days, waiting turned to watching. Noah watched. Amid the waiting, hope and a sense of future possibility emerged.

Amid the uncertainty and suspense of not knowing, or the sheer tedium of things remaining the same, I can learn to keep my eyes wide open, scanning the horizon of my experience. Like Noah I may have to do this for a long time until at last some green sprig signals that there is land ahead. Signs may beckon through something as ordinary as a kind word, a hug from a child, the smile of a friend, or as subtle as an inner urge whispering, “This is where you need to go.” All of these are signs and promises of hope as I am tossed about on the sea of unknowing.

Wondrous God, Your signs and promises are the rock on which my hope is built and my shelter in times of unknowing. May the memory of Your faithfulness sustain my faithfulness in you. Let me not tire of praising You, no matter how difficult the wait may seem. Amen. 

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