But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and livestock with him in the boat. He sent a wind to blow across the earth, and the floodwaters began to recede. 2 The underground waters stopped flowing, and the torrential rains from the sky were stopped. 3 So the floodwaters gradually receded from the earth. After 150 days, 4 exactly five months from the time the flood began, the boat came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5 Two and a half months later, as the waters continued to go down, other mountain peaks became visible.
6 After another forty days, Noah opened the window he had made in the boat 7 and released a raven. The bird flew back and forth until the floodwaters on the earth had dried up. 8 He also released a dove to see if the water had receded and it could find dry ground. 9 But the dove could find no place to land because the water still covered the ground. So it returned to the boat, and Noah held out his hand and drew the dove back inside. 10 After waiting another seven days, Noah released the dove again.11 This time the dove returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. Then Noah knew that the floodwaters were almost gone. 12 He waited another seven days and then released the dove again. This time it did not come back. – Genesis 8:1-12
Our kids say it was 2 or 3 miles. I say we didn’t even get out of the parking lot. I suspect the truth is somewhere in between – though far less than 2 or 3 miles. We all agree that on one family vacation, we forgot our youngest child. Stephen was 8 or 9 years old at the time, and had dawdled in the restroom as we loaded the van and got back on the road. Aaron was in the back seat, sitting in the middle with his arms spread to the right and left. He could do that because his little brother was not in the seat with him. “Hey! Where’s Stephen?!?” someone yelled.
Stop the van. Go back to the gas station. Pull up to the restroom area. And there’s Stephen with a cute little half-grin half-frown. He took it in good stride. We all laughed – mostly because he was not left that far behind. But we did forget him.
Soldiers have a code that says, Leave no one behind. In fact the Military Times, cites two creeds: The Airman’s Creed, “I will never leave an airman behind.” And the Soldier’s Creed, “I will never leave a fallen comrade.”
Rudyard Kipling’s poem, Recessional, has the refrain, “Lest we forget–Lest we forget.” It is a prayer for God’s mercy and a reminder that we cannot live without his aid. Power and might do not save us. This we must not forget.
Thankfully God does not forget us. He doesn’t drive out of the parking lot without us. He is attentive to our every need. Not one sparrow falls to the ground apart from his knowledge. He knows us well. And he will not forget us. He will forget our sins. He will remove our iniquities from us as far as east is from west. But he will not forget his own.
I don’t know if Noah and his family worried about being abandoned by God. Forgotten. Forsaken. Deserted. I can imagine 150 dark nights and landless days dragging on and one. After 100 days, I might wonder if God is still there. And 150 days? Well, thankfully on day 151 the boat runs aground. God has remembered Noah, his family, and the animals. God has not forgotten.
Maybe you’re in a seemingly God-forsaken place. Perhaps it’s day 149 of hopeless struggle and sleepless nights. You might be ready to give up. But let this verse anchor your soul: God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and livestock with him in the boat. He will remember you, too. For he has saved you. He loves you. Maybe tomorrow will be your day 151.
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