“Plan Ahead: It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.”
Genesis 6:9- 9:17 (it’s short read!)
This was one of my favorite phrases on a mug in my parent’s cupboard. I used to say it to people, thinking I was being “smart.” Little did I know that God was planting a seed, an idea, a desire to gain the organizational bug that I was not born with. Now, as an adult, this phrase holds a solid piece to the foundation of my beliefs, even when I fail.
Let’s think about this for just a moment. When exactly did the flood rains of Genesis begin to fall? It says Noah was 500 years old (wow!) when God announced the intended clean up and commanded Noah to build the Ark (no rain yet). Then, 7 days before the rain was to fall, he notified Noah of the finality of the plan. When the rains began to fall, Noah was just over 600 years old. It took Noah 100 years to complete this project. And a week, give or take.
If I had 100 years and the audible voice of God commanding my movements, I could get SO MUCH DONE! If I did as the Lord commanded. Such obedience! Now, think about the opposite: Imagine if Noah had waited till the last minute, even if his intentions were to start sooner (do we all know what “they” say about the road to hell and what it’s paved with?) God knew this particular project was a doozy— that it would take time…and planning. He knew that Noah needed 100 years to collect, organize, build….and then, gather “every kind of animal” from the earth to herd into that boat. It was a God sized project. If Noah had waited until the year before the rains were scheduled to fall and the earth was flooded, would the boat have been finished? Yes, I believe that God works miracles and could’ve gotten it done, but I also believe that we are to do things in his time for his glory… and for Noah, the quality of the vessel, the stress on the people, and the attitude of service that he was supposed to foster for us thousands of years later was all part of the 100 year plan.
I know that some days we get busy, and end up waiting until the rain falls to organize and build the boat. We’ve all been there. The stress, the frustration, and the quality of our work can suffer. And while some think they do best under fire, under pressure, perhaps their perspective could use a change of scenery. Wait for it — pressure doesn’t mean the flood is pouring down —pressure means that we know a flood is coming, so let’s be diligent and get the work done that God has asked us to do. We may be working while the waters are rising, but God’s got a plan—which means he’s asking us to prepare and do our part.
What are the things in your life that you keep putting off until the last minute? Remember, no task is too big (or too small) for our Creator!
Always start with prayer. Not only when you don’t know where to begin, but even when you do.
It’s time to plan ahead. It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.