If we were to be truly honest, 2020 seemed to bring the “ME” out in our individual lives, our country, and the world. As of today, May 26, 2021, the “ME” is growing exponentially Bigger and BIGGER.
How did we get here?
There is a fable I am sure you have all heard: “The Boiling Frog!” The premise is that if a frog is put suddenly into boiling water, it will jump out, but if the frog is put in tepid water, which is then brought to a boil slowly, it will not perceive the danger and will be cooked to death. It is a metaphor about our inability or unwillingness to react or be aware of threats and dangers that arise gradually in our lives!
The “world” is telling us to “Do this, go here, read this, live and act this way, pursue these causes, seek the power, prosperity, and follow me. I have the answers!”
Where is God in this picture? No where I can find! We have become lost in our own Waldo world! Lost and nowhere to be found! Waldo, where are you, we cry! We can’t find you! Could it be we are looking in the wrong place or at the wrong picture? Do we need to put our glasses on? Maybe we have given up or even given in to ever finding Waldo!
In Genesis 6 we find a man by the name of Noah. He was very much like Waldo. Placed in a picture he did not create but was a part of. He wanted people to know the God he knew. But to no avail, his cry went unheard for 120 years, lost in the picture, or so it seemed. The amazing part, however, was the creator of the picture knew right where “Noah” and “Waldo” were.
Noah must have been an amazing man! To build a boat the size of one and a half football fields, without ever having seen a boat, let alone rain, or having experienced a flood! Think about it a moment: no nails, no electric saws, no metal hammers, just God, Noah’s three sons and their families.
Genesis 6:5-8 tells us:
The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart. So the Lord said, ‘I will blot out man whom I have created from the face of the earth, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens, for I am sorry that I have made them.’ But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.
Notice the sequence here: Noah walked with God in a godless world with a godless generation. Noah was not hiding from God, but the rest of mankind sure was! God had a plan and mission for Noah and his family, and that mission, from a human point of view, seemed impossible. But to Noah, who knew and walked with God, it was anything but impossible. Noah’s faith and trust in God caused him to rise each day for 120 years to the mockery, ridicule, and laughter he endured day after day. Noah was not lost; he knew his God knew right where he was! Noah knew that walking and trusting God was his salvation!
A British expositor, Alexander Maclaren, put it this way: “For a hundred and twenty years the wits laughed, and the ‘common-sense’ people wondered, and the patient saint went on hammering and pitching at his ark. But one morning it began to rain; and by degrees, somehow, Noah did not seem quiet such a fool. The jests would look rather different when the water was to the knees of the jesters; and their sarcasms would stick in their throats as they drowned. So is it always. So it will be at the last great day. The men who lived for the future, by faith in Christ, will be found out to have been the wise men when the future has become the past, and is gone forever; while they who had no aims beyond the things of time, which are now sunk beneath the dreary horizon, will awake too late to the conviction that they are outside the ark of safety, and that their truest epitaph is, ‘Thou fool.’”
Let’s contemplate for a moment the magnitude of Noah’s decision. The decision “to follow God,” not the loud, ridiculing, mocking voices of the world was critical. Noah’s faithfulness and walk with God stopped God from destroying His creation – us! We are here today because of God’s mercy and grace in Noah’s life. Noah’s life was about the “WE” not the “ME.” His decision to follow God changed the world! So if you are wondering if God cares, is concerned or can use one man and his family to change the world, the answer is yes!
While reading an old devotional book recently, a question was asked that found me contemplating the answer. The question was: Would you be willing to lose yourself for the sake of Christ and the gospel (like Noah)? Are you willing to be set apart for the advancement of God’s cause instead of personal wishes and gain? Are you willing to turn the “Me” in your life to the “We” for your God, King, Savior, Protector, and Deliverer?
The world has tossed God aside, thinking they have the answers; the “Me” has it all figured out! Unfortunately, they have jumped into the tepid water unaware that the water is beginning to boil!
Jesus Himself said, “He that findeth his life shall lose it; and he who loses his life for my sake will find it. . . Whosoever shall seek to save his life shall lose it; and whosoever shall lose his life shall preserve it.” (Matt. 10:39 and Luke 17:33) Powerful words to ponder.
By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith. (Hebrews 11:7)
Where do you find yourself today? Are you a frog – “Me” – or a Noah – “We”? Have you jumped into the pot only to find it is getting hotter and hotter?
How can we change this scenario? Find out in my next blog!
Kathy Niswender is the wife of our pastor.