- Chris Crosby
Shelter in Place
We’ve all felt it. Some days in this staying home era of a pandemic (and for some of us a hurricane), the walls feel like they are closing in and we need to have a change in scenery. Fortunately, we can still get our groceries, pick up food from a restaurant and do the other things that are necessary for life.
As I pondered the restrictions to our normal routine, I reread the story of Noah. After reviewing the chronology of his trip on the ark, my confined schedule doesn’t look nearly as restrictive. From the time the rain started until he and his family were able to step foot on dry land again, Noah was on the ark a full year.
Imagine with me what that year was like. Only eight people to converse with, living in a smelly boat full of animals. Each day consisted of cleaning stalls and feeding animals, some of which could be very loud or aggressive. The knowledge that you are the only people left on the entire planet ever on your mind. You have no take-out or quick trip down the street to pick up something to eat. When you finally get off the boat you have no idea where you will be, the landscape will look different and you will start life all over again.
After viewing the life of Noah, my world doesn’t feel so limited. Yet, what did Noah and his family gain? Although not an exhaustive list, here are a few positives: They were alive – just the eight of them. God had kept them safe through that entire ordeal. The instructions God had given them provided enough food to survive an entire year. Upon leaving the ark and releasing the animals to go their way and multiply, God gave Noah a promise. He would not flood the entire earth again and provided the sign of that promise – the rainbow. Noah’s offspring repopulated the entire earth.
What about today? In the middle of the pandemic, what has God been doing in your life? What good things have come from this? For me, I have improved my nutrition and been eating better. I’ve done more writing, making progress on a book. My schedule is filled with less busy-ness and more intentional activities. I’m spending more time in God’s Word. A bathroom remodel is almost complete. I have seen more families out taking walks together – something I rarely saw before the pandemic arrived. There have been some good things that have occurred despite the virus.
We are reminded in Hebrews 13:5 that God is not far off. He promises to never abandon us. “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave your nor forsake you.””
Whether your assignment is big, like Noah’s, or a bit smaller and seemingly more mundane, never doubt God is there with you. Seek Him and ask for how He can use you in the middle of trying times.