Monday, March 17, 2014

Now that the storm has passed.

Cyclone Lusi came and went, leaving her mark on New Zealand.  Though she caused damage and inconvenience, uprooted trees and power outages, she was less destructive than expected.   We are thankful. 

Now that the storm has passed, the sun has returned and with it warmer temperatures. 
Thankfully the road between Whangarei and Dargaville was also cleared, allowing us to enjoy a special combined worship service on Sunday as planned.

During times like this, one cannot help but think about the universal flood that sent everything on earth swimming during Noah's time. The whole story is quite remarkable, really, and I would encourage you to read about it in Genesis 6-9.  I won't go into details here, but would like to point out one thing.

 I find it interesting that God instructs Noah very specifically as to how to construct the ark, which is more like 3- tiered floating football field than a simple wooden boat.   He turns Noah into a skilled craftsman, tells him to fill it with pairs of animals that will eventually repopulate the earth, and then gives him these hope-filled instructions:

Genesis 7:1-24 (NLT)
1 When everything was ready, the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the boat with all your family, for among all the people of the earth, I can see that you alone are righteous.
2 Take with you seven pairs—male and female—of each animal I have approved for eating and for sacrifice, and take one pair of each of the others. 
Noah would have already been accustomed to offering sacrifices to the Lord at this point, so here it is as if God is saying, “You know what these are for.  You’ll need these when you make it out on the other side.”
Do you see it?  A glimmer of hope.  A word that says . . . ."You will make to the other side.  And when you do . . . remember me.  Honour me. Yes, the flood will be treacherous.  It will be long.  You might even doubt that the ark will hold up against the waves.  BUT it will not last forever.  You will make it out to the other side."
The flood did come to an end. The waters eventually receded. And guess what Noah did:

Genesis 8:20-22 (NLT)
20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and there he sacrificed as burnt offerings the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose.
21 And the Lord was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice and said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things.
22 As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.” 
Put your trust in God through faith in Jesus Christ his Son and you'll make it through the storm.  And when you do . . .remember him.  Honour him.  

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