It is Friday morning, August 31, 2012. Not a significant date to most people. Really not all that significant to me. Except that I sit here this morning, looking out the window and ask myself, "When will Isaac get here? And when it does, what will it be like for us? Will we have a lot of rain? Or will it fizzle out and give us a few brief showers and then move on?" In case you don't know, Isaac was the category 1 hurricane that just came ashore at New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, 7 years after Katrina came with a strong storm surge that broke through the levees and caused significant flooding, loss of life and damage to billions of dollars worth of property. Anxiety ran high as Isaac slowly pushed ashore, dumped bunches of rain and then continued on its path. But the levees held, some people had to be rescued even though evacuation was mandatory (which could be a whole different blog), and the area breathed a soggy sigh of relief.
But now, sitting here in southern Illinois, they are telling us that Isaac is going to move up through central Missouri and as such, we will be on the right-hand side or the eastern side of the low pressure, which means we could get a a whole bunch of rain. The forecast was such that there were high schools that rescheduled their sacred football games from Friday night to (gasp) Thursday night so that they would be able to play and not have to worry about the large amount of rain we are supposed to receive.
Where did this lead me? To the Word of God, to an event that had a worldwide impact - to Genesis 7. It says, "And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons' wives with him went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood." (Genesis 7:7 ESV) As they went into the ark, I often imagined that it was already dripping rain. That the skies were growing dark and forbidding. That lightning was flashing all around. The ground was already getting muddy and Noah was hurrying the animals into the ark with , "Come on, hurry up. We don't want to get wet now, do we? Let's move, the water is already rising and we need to get everyone in." But no, that isn't what happened. We are told, "And after seven days the waters of the flood came upon the earth." (Genesis 7:10 ESV)
Can you imagine? I sit here waiting for the rain of Isaac to begin. I am watching the skies, seeing the clouds coming. I get online to check the radar to see how close the rain might be at this time. I have all these things at my finger tips but I must still wait for the Lord to sent the rain. Noah didn't have all that. Sitting in the ark with his family and all those critters, they waited. The Lord had shut them in, sealed up the door, made it impossible for them to leave. And they waited. (In vs. 11 it states, "on the very same day Noah and his sons...entered the ark..." which makes me wonder if my musings are wrong. But I am going with them anyway.)
If they waited 7 days for the rains to get going and the waters to begin to rise, can you imagine what it was like? Mrs. Noah says to her husband, "Where is this rain you said was coming?" Shem mutters, "All this work for nothing. What is wrong with dad anyway?" Ham muses, "My friends already think my dad's crazy. What are they going to think now as they stand outside this big ol' boat and laugh at us?" Noah himself might have thought, "Hey God? Where is this water you were talking about?" The first day wouldn't be so bad. But day 2, then 3 and day 4, oh my! How impossible it must have been to wait for the rains and the flood waters. Day 5 and 6 - ugh! I can't imagine. Then finally the 7th day comes. And the rains come. The deep breaks forth with its waters. The heavens open up. And water comes in buckets and buckets. Soon the ark shifts on its blocks. And then...the rest is history.
Waiting for the Lord to fulfill His word. It is a hard thing to do. I find waiting for Isaac to be difficult. Someone who is ill finds it even more challenging to wait for the Lord to bring healing or relief from the suffering. Someone looking for job finds it hard to listen to the promise that the Lord will take care of them. The person whose family life is in shambles finds it almost impossible to listen to the word that the Lord will help him work through the seemingly impossible time. Waiting...it is difficult at best, impossible at worst.
Waiting for the Lord takes faith that He will fulfill His word. It challenges each of us to trust that when the Lord gives a promise, it will be fulfilled. When the Lord speaks it will be so. The timing of it is in His time and not our time. Isaac is coming. I have been told that by the weathermen and the radar. So I believe it. The Lord is my Rock and my Salvation. The Lord tells me He is with me every day. He promises His love, His grace, His mercy, His power, and His presence. That is more sure, more certain, more true than any weather forecast.
I have learned to trust in the word of the Lord (once again!) as I wait for Isaac. Noah teaches that to me. The Flood teaches that to me. The faith which the Holy Spirit gives to me, teaches that to me. Now the challenge is to hold onto it!