Today’s reading was the story of the flood. Once again, this story is familiar. Once again, I had a new thought. My observation for the day is simple. If you’re looking for brilliance every day, try another blog. 🙂 The title of my blog offered fair warning…Simple Revelations. 

Here’s a picture of the ark:

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When you read the dimensions and picture Noah building it without any of our modern conveniences, it seems gigantic. When you look at an actual physical ark, you realize just how small that boat was. On that ark were two of every single living thing on the planet. Many of these animals were natural enemies…predators and their prey. A lion in the same vicinity as a gazelle…snakes slithering around the mice…Poisonous insects crawling and flying around humans. Ugh. I now have the creepy crawlies. Seriously though, these animals lived in the same boat for over a year. 

Next, I want you to picture being closed up in an RV with your siblings and your parents for an entire year. I’m not talking about a trip where you’re exploring new territory or exiting the vehicle for bathroom breaks and meals. You are literally locked inside this RV. God closed the door. If God closed the door, you KNOW you’ll never be able to open it. I love my family, but we live across the country from each other. I remember being stuck inside because of a blizzard and getting sick of my sisters. Can you imagine having no one else to interact with for over a year? Can you imagine how claustrophobic that boat would become? You couldn’t even go for a drive to clear your head after a fight with your spouse. You couldn’t even get some fresh air! AHHHHH! 

So here’s my revelation: I think the real miracle of the flood was that everyone survived the time on the ark. Shem, Ham, & Japheth did not kill each other. Noah did not throw his wife out the tiny opening around the top of the ark. The lion did not demolish the gazelle. The snake let the mice scurry away. Everyone survived. If you don’t believe that God is a miracle-working God, think again!

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Image The mask seems completely absurd and like overkill, right? I’m sure the kid being forced to wear it thought so too…until of course he was able to continue breathing with healthy lungs that were protected from poison. Granted, this is just a stock photo from the web. Still the concept remains — his parents were protecting him, doing their job as parents and protecting him from unknown risks so that he could enjoy a full life. Sounds like another Father you know, right?

Our current DNA Journal Bible reading is in the book of Genesis. Most of the stories are familiar because if you’re like me, you start reading the Bible from beginning to end every year. The beginning gets read numerous times, right? 🙂 Anyway, Genesis 3 depicts the story of the fall of man. The serpent deceived Eve and she in turn offered the temptation to Adam. As soon as they ate the forbidden fruit, their eyes were opened. They saw things they never saw before. They felt emotions that up till this time did not exist in the world…SHAME. GUILT. FEAR. The serpent promised they’d be enlightened and like God. Instead, they were cowering in fear at just the sound of God’s footsteps.

God set up restrictions for their protection. He knew the price that would be asked of Adam and Eve when they ate that fruit. Life since the beginning had been bliss. They had everything they could ever need or want…food, water, beautiful surroundings, companionship. Still the “grass is always greener” bug bit as soon as the serpent opened his mouth.

The story was nothing new to me. I’ve read it since I was a little girl. However, I was reminded of a fundamental truth about our God…a simple AHA moment for me, if you will. Genesis 3:22 says, “Then the LORD God said, ‘Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever.'” When I first read this, I thought that it seemed that God was thinking of a consequence. A choice was made and consequences were necessary. Then I read it again. I was struck by the heart of God. God is always about our protection. He in essence was speaking from a broken heart…He tried to protect Adam and Eve from themselves, from the hurt and pain that would follow, from the impending death. He provided for absolutely every need they could ever imagine. He walked with them and talked with them. Still, they chose something other than His love. Like any good parent, God was trying to put up fences so they wouldn’t fall down the stairs. He put all the harmful chemicals out of reach. He kept sharp objects up high or in secure drawers. He surrounded them with pillows so they wouldn’t roll off the bed. Still they chose something other than His love. My God is always about my protection. Tonight I choose to let Him tuck me in and surround me with pillows so I won’t fall off the bed.

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I’m plugged into a pretty incredible church – The Cause Community Church. Our pastors are passionate about equipping us as believers to be actively ministering to the world around us. For the past few years, we have been journeying as a church through the Bible together. We use our DNA Journals to capture thoughts from our daily reading and to also allow us some space to process what we’re reading. It’s simple yet effective. I tend to think better while typing…weird, I know. Therefore, I’ve decided to kill two birds with one stone — blog my thoughts from today’s reading. So here goes nothing…

Genesis 1:10 NLT  God called the dry ground “land” and the waters “seas.” And God saw that it was good.

You guessed it. We are starting in Genesis. The story of creation and the subsequent events are very familiar to me. I’ve read the stories more times than I can count. It is miraculous and amazing, true. However, it is also very traditional for me. There never seems to be anything new when I read it. This time was different.

Dry Ground…Out of the entire first chapter of Genesis, that is what stood out to me. Dry Ground. I for one am familiar with dry ground. I live in sunny southern California where the skies are blue (if not clouded with smog) and the ground is…you guessed it, DRY. Our occasional bouts of rain result in over-dramatic news casts with the blaring headline, “Storm Watch!!!” We are very familiar with dry ground. Despite its familiarity, that is not the dry ground that consumed my thoughts.

Instead, I am thinking of dry ground in the depths of my soul. We have all been there. We long for a refreshing rainstorm. We long for just a drop of water…something. Anything to soothe the parched ground. We sit in church and feel nothing. We sing worship songs and again feel nothing. We open the Word. Still nothing. The ground is too dry and too hard to soak anything up. It feels like we are barely hanging on, lost somewhere in the desert.

Dry Ground…not really a fun place. Not a place I search for. Not a place I set up camp in. Not a place I want to live.

Dry Ground…And God saw that it was good. Hmm. Interesting. God saw the dry ground and called it good. I know I’m probably reading into this way too much. Still, I can’t help but find comfort in the fact that God created the dry ground. It has been around since the very beginning. It was included in the “good” that God saw as He looked over all He had created. He established dry ground. I don’t have to like it. I don’t have to search it out. It simply exists. There is dry ground in life. There are times when I feel distant, when I hear nothing but silence, when I am parched. There are times when the rain isn’t falling and my soul is not feeling refreshed. It is not because I’m failing or falling away from God. It is simply part of life.

I like how the story continues in Genesis 2:5 & 6.

For the Lord God had not yet sent rain to water the earth, and there were no people to cultivate the soil. Instead, springs came up from the ground and watered all the land.

Sometimes the rain doesn’t fall…sometimes the springs come from within.

I have lofty goals for the year. And by lofty, I definitely mean simple. I’m committing to taking life one day at a time. I overwhelm myself with the million goals for my whole life and then let them slip completely out of grasp because I feel like I will never in a million years accomplish it all. This year will be different. This year, it is all about today.

 

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