In narrowness You broadened a space for me. (Psalm 4:1)
The phrase, In the beginning, is an invitation. It reminds us that new beginnings show up all through life’s journey. And that the Creator of the universe is willing to take the helm in each of them.
The birth of our first-born marked a new era in our lives 34 years ago. I read every parenting manual I could find and still wondered, “Me, a mom?” Now, our youngest is off to college and I wander around my quiet house, muttering, What the heck?
In Genesis, a new beginning went bad. People’s imaginations and thoughts somehow got twisted. Those thoughts were seeds that grew up and bred violence, maiming and molesting at will. Women and children were ravaged. The spirit behind ISIS, the Nazi regime and every structure that rips and tears with willful abandon was unchecked.
Immeasurable sadness filled God’s heart. He commanded Noah to build a place of refuge for His remnant. Noah obeyed and built a structure according to God’s specifications. It took 75 years. And because he followed every detail, the ark held as flood waters gushed up from the belly of the earth and poured from open heavens.
The flood extended 22 ½ feet above the highest mountain. That was 22 ½ feet above Mount Everest’s height of 29,035 feet. All of earth became a watery abyss with a tiny speck of gopher wood, tossed in enormous swells.
It took over a year for the waters to recede. Noah sent a dove out three times. The second time, it returned carrying an olive branch. It was earth extending an invitation. Come back. Dwell and occupy this new place.
The ark was a confined space, not meant to be a permanent home. But everything familiar was gone and all that stretched before them was uncharted territory. Imagine the wonder of those first footsteps and their eyes wide, taking in a land that stretched far beyond what they could see.
The time comes for us, too, when we’re invited to leave a narrow place and move into one He’s broadened for us. Not that we know what it looks like. There are many uncertainties, but much adventure ahead.
Sometimes life shouts, “You’re small! You’ll never be anything but insignificant!” That may be our biggest clue we aren’t. After all, this is a faith thing. We’re connected to the One who created the universe and just happens to love us.
So, every morning I say Yes to His new beginning. Even though I don’t know what it holds or exactly what it looks like. I want its largeness to push out everything that would keep me small.
I’m not responsible for creating the broad place. I wouldn’t have known it was there if He hadn’t told me. These days are full of mystery. But like the new earth that called Noah and his family, there’s a new place waiting for us to inhabit. Let me know when you catch your first glimpse!
Shalom in the River,
Laurel, I love this “Fresh Bread”! Full of hope and new beginnings.
You’re quite a devotional writer. Are you thinking of taking all of your blog entries and shaping them into a devotional?
Have a lovely day, Cheri
Thanks, dear Cheri! Yes, I do want to. So grateful He put me in the middle of gifted writer friends. I’m learning so much.
Hi, Very thoughtful and rich commentary. An appropriate post for the uncharted waters ahead for us. Like the days of Noah…. we are in need of God cleansing flood to wash our minds and hearts that we see His glory during the days ahead. Blessings dear friend.
I was praying for you this morning – thanking Him for your heart and asking His blessing to overwhelm you! Do you think we might still be connected?!!! Love you, dear friend. Yes, I agree with the God cleansing flood. Gives me another strong visual to pray. 🙂
Thank you for sharing your fresh bread Laurel. You are always such a wonderful blessing to me! It was so good to talk to you today.
It was so good to hear your voice. We love you both!
Love all your blog posts…Miss hearing from you…Let’s get a phone conversation on our calendars this week!
PS. If you haven’t taken your grandkids to see Noah in Branson at Sight and Sound Theatre. (If not there now…I’m sure it will come back around again sometime)..It’s a very visual, elaborate and a fun way to see Noah’s story. Love you lots…Carol
Miss you, too, Carol! Yes – just call when you get a minute. I’m usually at home working. 🙂 We’ll keep in mind Noah. Sounds like something the kids would remember for a long time. Love you, dear friend. Looking forward to catching up.