Then God said to Noah, “Go out from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.” Genesis 8:16 ESV
God shut the door to the ark, bringing finality to Noah’s time on land. When he would put his feet on solid ground again, it would be on a new and pristine landscape. After 100+ days in the ark, everyone on board was antsy to get off. They had been shut up in a windowless world, thrashing to and fro with extreme weather.
As anxious as Noah was to exit the ark, he knew he had to wait for God’s permission. To leave the safety of his wooden haven was to risk living on an earth that wasn’t ready for habitation. The seeds he would plant there would rot in muddy soil. When the dove brought a branch, it was a sign that the earth was fruitful again.
There is not much of a harvest in my life either when I move ahead of God and force things into place. Only God can prepare the way in front of me and show me when to move at the right time. I have known the frustration of trying to make things happen on my own. I produced one Ishmael after another, and utter frustration was the result. So was nagging insecurity. I knew that God hadn’t led me and could not bless my path. Getting older has taught me to wait for Him to release me from unpleasant conditions.
Someone wants to be a truth-teller to a family member today. The seed will not be received if God has not prepared the soil of their heart. Another wants to step out of a stressful place and start fresh by forcing circumstances to work. A heavenly rhythm will not accompany their efforts and striving will bring exhaustion and futility. Someone else wants to implement a God-given vision that has been simmering for years. Tired of waiting, they will bring their vision to a people not ready to understand it nor recognize its source as God. Misjudgment will result, bringing pain and rejection.
We must not leave the ark of safety until there is divine release. God is a gracious Father who will give many confirmations that it’s time to move.
Oh, how I’ve learned the hard way that striving is not your way. If the axe falls at just the right part in the grain of wood, without much effort at all, the wood will split. Show me holy rhythm and timing. Amen