40 Days, 40 Nights

I’d recently read the story of Noah during my bible study. I’d actually read it a couple of times because I was stuck on the fact that Noah was found to be righteous by God yet years after the ark, as we most often reference him, he cursed his grandson Canaan because his father Ham (Noah’s son) saw Noah naked after Noah became drunk with wine. But I digress…

It was such a coincidence that one day, not long after my reading, I was listening to a YouTube video that happened to make reference to Noah and the ark. It totally caught me by surprise because the video had nothing to do with the bible, it was actually about relationships. However the YouTuber’s reference led me to a different perspective on the story. My pondering shifted.. I started to think about how it must have felt on that ark for 40 days and 40 nights, physically, psychologically, and emotionally. How it must have felt staring out into endless waters, pouring rain, and stuck in quarantine….smh (I mean stuck on a huge boat) waiting with anticipation and hope that the flooding would stop, the water would subside, and one day you’ll once again see beautiful green pastures. I imagine that as time passed and after sending both a raven and a dove out in search of dry land, who returned because there was none in sight, that it became harder to believe that the flood and rain would soon end and that life would be back to “normal”.

I don’t think anyone would argue with me that that’s much like how it’s felt in 2020. Just two days ago one of my favorite actors (who I’d actually been crushing on just a few years ago) Chadwick Boseman died at the young age of 43 of colon cancer. His diagnosis was unbeknownst to the public so his passing totally struck everyone by surprise. This news while we’re still in the midst of a global pandemic threatening the lives of people everyday, arrests are still being made during black lives matter protests, Jacob Blake lay paralyzed and handcuffed to a hospital bed after being shot in the back by police (yet another victim of excessive force by police officers), we’re still grieving George Floyd, still no one has been arrested for the death of Breonna Taylor, we still can’t believe Kobe Bryant was killed in a helicopter crash just months ago and…. I’ll just stop there.. Sighhh.

I’ve had at least two other seasons in my life that I would consider a period of being in the wilderness or an ark experience, that was the time I lost my job and my divorce. Looking back on those times to now I’m reminded that in spite of how I felt during that period, how I longed for the rain to subside and to feel my feet touch dry land, and to just feel normal again that those seasons bought something new out of me. Those seasons exercised my faith muscle, grew me up, strengthened my resilience, and showed me what I was made of. Those seasons awakened me to the things I fell ignorant to about life, about what really matters to me, what I take for granted, what I want more or less of, and how I will live forward. As much as I’m looking forward to feeling “normal” again I’m also eager to see what else this season has to teach and reveal to me, about me.

And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights. - Genesis 7:12



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