Grace is when God gives us what we don't deserve, and mercy is when God doesn't give us what we do deserve.
- Dan Roberts
I am trusting you, O Lord, saying, "You are my God!" My future is in your hands. (Psalm 31:14-15, NLT)
Did you know that God is often working the most when we see it the least?
As I reflect back over my life, that’s often been the case. The times when it looked the worst, the times when it seemed like God had gone on vacation–those were the times when God was working behind the scenes on my behalf.
What we discover is that our timing is not always God’s timing. Actually, our timing is almost never God’s timing. We are an instant, give-it-to-me-now society. We want to pray and have God answer us by noon. Wouldn’t that be great? Well, God doesn’t work like that.
Take it from Noah.
He followed God’s leading and built an ark–even though it had never rained before. Then, he followed God’s instruction and gathered two of every animal and began filling the big boat. Finally, he and his family boarded the boat and the rain started.
You know the story. It rained 40 days and 40 nights, and Noah and his family were the only ones spared. However, the boat ride was much longer than 40 days. It went on for months and months and months!
Think about this for a moment. Noah and his family are on an ark with a bunch of smelly animals for months on end, and there is no land in sight. Can’t you just hear his wife saying, “Yeah, great plan, Noah. Where’s the land? Did God tell you how long we’d have to float around with a bunch of stinking creatures?”
Every day, Noah would look out of the ark’s windows, and all he would see was water on every side. So, Noah sent out a bird, hoping to get proof that land had surfaced somewhere, but the first bird came back empty-beaked. It looked like God had forgotten them. It looked like they were doomed to ride around on a big boat forever.
But, God was at work through the wind, receding the water every single day–even on the days when Noah looked at the water all around and wondered if God even cared.
In time, they hit dry land, and Noah and his family walked off the ark into a new life, a new beginning. Truly, “the wind” had been at work and the promise was fulfilled!
So, here’s my question to you today–are you in the middle of a very long ark ride? Have you wondered if God is even paying attention to what’s going on in your life?
Like Noah, you know you’ve been obedient to follow God’s leading, and yet you only see water on all sides. Don't be discouraged. Instead, rejoice! Land is in sight! God hasn’t forgotten about you! He is at work behind the scenes! Be happy today–even if you can’t see anything changing. That just means God is really doing some stuff!
Pray this with me: “Father, I don’t understand why I am on this long ark ride right now, but I trust that you’re working behind the scenes on my behalf. And in faith, I praise you for working in my life even though I can’t see any positive changes with my natural eyes. I am excited about my future, and I know that ‘the wind’ is at work in my life this very minute. In the Mighty Name of Jesus your Son, Amen.”
Michelle Medlock Adams is an award-winning journalist and best-selling author, with more than 60 books and 1,000 articles for newspapers and magazines to her name. She was won several SELAH Awards (best children’s book and book of the year for God Knows You in 2014 and best children’s book for My Big Book of Prayers in 2012), and her book Divine Stories of the Yahweh Sisterhood was named a Family Christian Bookstores Premiere Pick in 2006. When not working on her own assignments, Michelle ghostwrites books for celebrities and some of today’s most effective and popular ministers.
Michelle is married to her high school sweetheart, Jeff. They have two college-aged daughters, Abby and Allyson, as well as a small petting zoo. When not writing or teaching writing, Michelle enjoys cheering on the Indiana University Men’s Basketball team, the Chicago Cubbies and the LA Kings. Find out more about Michelle at her website.