A devotional by Chaplain Paul Anderson
“But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
–Genesis 6:8 (NKJV)
Recently in my devotional moments, I was led to remember a global reset of biblical proportions.
You may be familiar with the story of Noah. It is found in Genesis chapters 6-8. An apocalyptic flood covered the earth and decimated the population. Noah and his family were quarantined within a floating ark of safety for one year and ten days. How did they survive? How did they prepare? How did they recover?
I have extracted six points of resiliency from this story that can be instructive to us as we weather the pandemic experiences of 2020 and beyond.
1. Proactive Spirituality
2. Prescriptive Preparation
3. Providential Provision
5. Buoyant Faith
6. Pioneering Resilience
Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. This means that Noah was known by God and Noah knew God. They had a conversational relationship. His relationship with the greatest of godly men, his father, grandfather and great grandfather would almost surely have brought him into the very real presence of God and an awareness of the character and desire of divinity.
When God chose him for the mission of global reset, Noah was 500 years old. He worked with proactive spirituality for 100 years to build a family and to complete construction of a vessel that had never existed for a contingency that had never happened. Yet, he persisted.
Proactive spirituality is what drives some to write books, start businesses, practice fidelity when distracting opportunities abound, even stay with seemingly errant spouses, believing that faithfulness matters and that a breakthrough is imminent.
Noah saw deeper and believed more fervently in the character of God than did those who for a time worked with him. He worked according to a supernatural pattern with craftsmen and suppliers who benefitted from the work as well as their exposure to Noah’s faith. Noah’s prescriptive preparation saved his family and could have saved many more, if only they had kept the faith.
For 100 years Noah lived and worked confidently under the providential provisions of God. They labored to harvest and store up food and materiel for the global reset that they expected. The biggest revelation of providential provision was when the animals came. Faith invested is always met with miraculous dividends. In this case, it was the arrival of unclean animals two by two and clean animals by seven.
Once Noah and family were secured in the ark they endured the 40 day storm. Then they drifted for 310 days. Even after they knew that they had been securely grounded, they had to wait another month or two before the land was dry enough to allow them to safely disembark.
Through it all, Noah and his family never lost their faith in God because they had evidence of His presence with them. Not idols, but memories. I also believe that there may have been some epiphanies during their cruise. Their faith did not languish nor expire. God was with them! That knowledge and confidence kept the ship afloat. Through it all, their faith and personalities remained buoyant.
The last element of their resiliency was the forward orientation. Many of us who are in quarantine, long for life as it was. Noah and his family came forth and created a new normal. Their reality was clear. Recovering the past was impossible. Forward was their only gear. So, they went and created a bold, new world.
In this new world, they initially carried forth the six points of resiliency. You can too. Our pandemic is far from over. The reset is still developing. Trust that God is with us in the midst of this upheaval. Make the best preparation that you can for yourself and family members. Expect and look for supernatural guidance and provision, even and especially during crisis moments.
Stay the course and don’t jettison your faith in God or jump overboard. Faith is your ark of safety. Persevere! As you do, your loads will feel lighter. Waves may crash into your world, but you will always spring back to the surface.
Do not try to bounce back. Rebound with a mission forward orientation. God will guide your feet and light your path. Be a pioneer and go boldly where no one before you has gone, or, follow the path of the faithful who have gone before you.
Wherever you go, know that God will never leave you nor forsake you. His grace will see you through whatever He has brought you to. If and when death assaults us, we believers will still be secure because not even death can separate us from the love of God.
Chaplain Anderson served for 20 years as a U.S. Navy Chaplain. Over 26 years of active duty, he was promoted through the ranks from Seaman Apprentice (E2) to his final rank as Commander (O5) in the Chaplain’s Corps.
Prior to his Naval career, Chaplain Anderson pastored in the Allegheny East and Potomac Conferences of Seventh-day Adventists. His undergraduate preparation for ministry was completed at Washington Adventist University in Takoma Park, Md.
He has subsequently earned four graduate degrees: a Master of Divinity from Andrews University in Michigan, a Master of Education in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland in College Park, Maryland and a Masters of Sacred Theology in Religion and Culture from Boston University. His Doctor of Ministry degree was conferred by Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.
Chaplain Anderson also completed four units of Clinical Pastoral Education at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He also holds certifications in Suicide Awareness and Prevention, Civil Mediation, Alternative Workplace Dispute Resolution, Temperament Analysis, Marriage Enrichment, Workforce Diversity, and is a certified Life Coach.
You may connect with Chaplain Anderson via email at this address, email@example.com.