By faith, Noah built a ship in the middle of dry land. He was warned about something he couldn’t see, and acted on what he was told. The result? His family was saved. His act of faith drew a sharp line between the evil of the unbelieving world and the rightness of the believing world. As a result, Noah became intimate with God. Hebrews 11:7 (The Message)
I grew up in town. It wasn’t a big town by any means, but it had street signs and stop lights and landmarks. My husband, on the other hand, grew up in the country, thirty minutes from town. When we got married, we moved into the house– out in the country– that his uncles built for his grandparents.
Like most newlyweds, we were excited to have a place of our own, and we were also very proud of our little house and invited everyone to come see us. While the directions were very straightforward–drive 7.1 miles north on the state highway and turn right, then drive 9.4 miles and turn left and the house is a half-mile down the road on your left–there weren’t a lot of good landmarks.
For people who had grown up in the country, this was no big deal. For townies like my friends and family, it was a very big deal.
But I learned that if I added a couple of sentences to the directions, they found us without fail. I said, “When you’ve been driving for a very long time, and you’re beginning to think you’ve made a mistake, or missed the turn, keep going. You’re almost there.”
Sometimes God sets us on a path, and we faithfully follow the directions He gives us, but often we don’t get any spiritual “landmarks,” things that would reassure us we’re headed the right way. And we get nervous. And our faith gets shaky. And we begin to question whether we missed a turnoff or something.
Keep going. You’re almost there.
When God told Noah to build the ark, it was another hundred and twenty years before the rains came. A hundred and twenty years! We get antsy if God’s plans don’t work themselves out in twenty days. God is a big-picture, long-term thinker. His plans extend through eternity in both directions. He has called us to play a part in them. Sometimes that means that means the directions He gives may not resolve as quickly as our short-term vision demands.
But that’s okay. We can trust Him, and we can trust His directions. Even when it seems like we’ve been working at them for a very long time. And we start to wonder if we’re doing something wrong …
Keep going. We’re almost there.