A Hurting Word...
Now we all know it was MR. Noah who built the ark and bossed the ark--with the Lord's help, of course!! But it's Mother's Day, and we also know that behind every successful man, there's a woman somewhere, putting in her two cents' worth, and making it all happen! (They could have used us in the recent NBC production of "Noah's Ark," don't you think?)
Most of us are aware that NBC, in its recent mini-series, took great liberty and license with the Biblical account--and *I* was, not behind, but in front of that TV set, having "mama fits" as most Christians did, with the unbiblical way this classic Bible story was portrayed. And so, on behalf of Mrs. Noah, I intend to put in MY two cents' worth, set the story straight, and have a little fun too!
You see, WE'VE read that story to our kids HOW many times, and we KNOW Noah was NOT a contemporary of Lot's nor did he live in Sodom and Gomorrah. There was NO pirate ship, no insanity, and most importantly, no loss of God's presence on that boat. We know the Bible was not written by scribes who make mistakes and that God did not need to get a "second opinion." We DO know that Mrs. Noah probably faced many of the same problems we face in the 90s, and so we're about to float over to the Ark, climb aboard, and just imagine how she, a good Bibletimes, God-loving woman, handled it all! Come along to the Well and let's see!
Madness and Merriment!
Mrs. Noah had her hands full...beasts and boys and burdensome chores; noises and nightmares--and never-mind the bugs! It was a "madhouse" for a LONG time, but she survived! She knew this was God's plan and in GOD'S plan, we always survive. Mrs. Noah didn't have a dishwasher, a microwave, a washer and drier--or a computer! She couldn't email her friends--or download a chocolate dessert--and yet, she managed to KEEP her sanity, to live "one day at a time," and to know God was with her.
We moms face endless days and nights of "mad" living--if you've got "normal" kids, you understand! There are days when you think you will completely lose it--and then the next day, you look back and laugh.....Why? Because God has made us with a sense of humor to see the funny side of life. It may take a day or so--but we laugh and re-count and write in our diaries the misdeeds and madness of the "funhouse" we operate. Merriment is a part of making it work, you know. A sense of humor is God's gift to help us get through all of our endless days and never-ending nights -- He got Mrs. Noah through it all, and He will do the same for us!
Odors and Other Oddities!
Mrs. Noah had no odor-repellants, bug-repellants or scented potpourri. She endured what must have been incredible circumstances and atmosphere. This was a very strange houseboat--full of noisy, smelly animals, from parrots and penguins to monkeys and mice. Along with the animals came the clean-up and Mrs. Noah probably was domestic engineer, with a daily chore chart posted on the ark wall for her boys to see....OK, that's poetic license...grin...but just imagine what this poor woman had to endure. There was no praise music to drown out the noise, no Christian TV to occupy her mind, no mall where she could escape--she was stuck in a smelly, non-air-conditioned floating zoo!
And sometimes we are too. The "odors and oddities" of life can become frustrating, as we put up with dirty socks, messy rooms, noisy fights, and fussy kids. We do our best and feel like a failure. We run ourselves ragged "cleaning the ark, picking up the ark, straightening the ark," and by the next day, it's a mess again. We sense with that "extra-sensor" the Lord has given us when there's a problem, and we're off to fix it, with the Lord's help, of course. For you see, the Lord knows what every "Mrs. Noah" is going through at every stage of life--whether pampers or preschool; high school or heaven help us, driving school, HE knows. And HE walks the ark with us each day as we love and care for our kids. They face incredible dangers and temptations in the world--but when a godly Mrs. Noah gets them "up the ramp and in the ark," she trains and teaches them, loves and prays with them, and ultimately places them in HIS safekeeping. Smart woman that Mrs. Noah!
Ministry and Mercy!
Mrs. Noah must have been the chief ministry person on board--of course, she was probably the cook, and we ALL know what a ministry THAT is....and then there's the soothing of bruises. Mrs. Noah was probably the mediator, the person in charge of encouragement, and probably lots of love and hugs. Moms are like that--and she would be no exception, I'm sure! But wait a minute--along with the marvelous ministry, there was probably alot of tender--and not-so-tender mercy. Maybe she had to resolve some sibling warfare (can't you see the siblings at war with one another--as in YOUR house--and NOWHERE TO GO!) and give a lesson or two in relationships and relative peace--just as you do! And loving God, she knew where her strength came from, as weary day after weary night, she lovingly ministered love and mercy to her floating, fussy family.
And Christian moms of the new millennium are no different. We soothe bruised egos and wounded spirits along with Band-aiding the banged-up, bumped-up bodies. We temper mercy with justice, sometimes with a "time out" or a "you're grounded," and we try to teach our children the ways of the Lord. And then sometimes we mess up--we get frustrated and fussy; anxious and ornery--and we're ready to just jump OFF the boat! But we take a deep breath, say a quick prayer, and carry on. For we know we are not alone. God is with us and He joins us in our ministry. As we extend mercy to our imperfect kids (and husbands!), HE extends His mercy to us--thank God!--and we survive!
Now fortunately enough, I am not OLD enough to be a contemporary of Mrs. Noah. I have no idea what her personality was, how she kept her "houseboat," and handled her kids....I DO know that the same God who helped Mrs. Noah through such a wild adventure is going to see us through whatever we face today. Unlike the movie representation, He will never leave nor forsake us; He will not withdraw His presence from us. He knows the difficult role we play as Moms; He knows our hearts and our desire to raise our kids for the Lord. He rides the "ark" with us--and we WILL survive!
Madness and merriment; odors and oddities; ministry and mercy - put it all together and it spells M.O.M....the one who works together with God to bring her family into His safe haven...and the one who some day will hear, "Well done, thou good and faithful servant." With a word like that, you can ride through every storm knowing HE'S the captain of the boat...you and your family are safe in His love and care. Now forget the cows mooing, the bugs crawling, the lions roaring and the load of laundry--take the day off! You're QUEEN of the boat and quite the MOM--so go have yourself a beautiful rainbow-of-a-Mother's Day!
...and that's just a thought or two--from my heart to yours!
"...I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee (Hebrews 13:5 KJV)."
"Lord, the ark gets pretty cramped and crummy--and sometimes I lose my perspective amidst the mess. I want to love and serve You, to love and serve my family, and to do more than just survive--I want to experience Your life more abundantly where You have placed me. I place myself and my family in Your keeping--for there we are safe from the storms of life. Thank You, Lord, for your loving care. In Jesus' Name, Amen."
All Scriptures are taken from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.
Copyright 2004 by Peggie C. Bohanon, Springfield, Mo. Used by permission.
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