i have committed to reading the whole bible in a year. that was my new years goal (not resolution, because we all know how those turn out!) i have been very convicted lately to become a student of the Word, sharpened by its truth and shaped by its meaning. i met with my SOMA group today, for the first time this term, and we knelt to pray for our campus and our winter classes. specifically, we prayed for a boldness to share our faith, and additonally, the motivation to study and genuinely learn the Word this term. i feel this is something the Lord has been placing on my heart, and i have become so very excited to be purposeful on my campus. i have often grumbled about college in my hometown, when so many of my friends are at larger-city universities, having a huge "college experience", if you will. i admit, my attitude has not always been Godly or grateful. but i have realized that God has specifically placed me on this campus, at this time, for a very real and purposeful reason. just as esther did not recognize her place in history, i truly believe God is revealing mine slowly. and i cannot balk at a God who is clearly big enough to overcome my poor attitude to stir in me a genuine love for my fellow students and my professors. as i was reading last night, i came across a verse (and for the record, i have already missed a day of reading, so there goes the "resolution" side of things. hence, i changed it to a 'goal'...) i came across a verse that was smack dab in the middle of a story i have read probably a hundred times. noah's ark. i have listened to my niece read it to me, even, in her delicate five-year-old voice, pointing out each and every pair of watercolor animals in her bible story book. i have taught the lesson in sunday school, and watched my class of twelve six year olds color an array of olive branches and rainbows. and im fairly certain there are even childrens songs about the flood (which i personally find a little weird, since its a song about floodwaters that wiped out almost all the population. if i were five, i think i would be terrified). but what struck me this time that i read the classic story was this line:
"Then the LORD shut him in."
in another translation, it reads:
"Then the LORD shut the door."
do you remember the story? people were sinning. alot. and God decides to save the righteous. noah find favor with the Lord, and is a "doer", acting in obedience to what i am sure sounded pretty ludicrous. then, watching the heavens open up and literally POUR. i've seen rain, because, well, i live in oregon. and ive been to brazil, and watched raindrops fall from dusky skies that were the size of small coins. but ive never seen the world flood over. but ive felt the door close. i try to imagine what noah thought as the door closed. as that last sliver of light disappeared, and the resounding echo of that door slammed shut. perhaps he was a stalwart picture of trust. maybe he was simply resigning. but i know how i would be, and thats scared. i have watched that light disappear. and its scary. i have listened as i was told my dream of nursing school was gone. i have waited for news at the doctors office. i have closed my eyes as i heard i lost my job. the light seemed faint last week when i crashed my car. and it seemed bleak when my blood pressure dropped again, and i found myself with more frequent breathing episodes. but did you catch it?
"The LORD shut him in."
The Lord's hand never leaves.
even in the darkness, His hand was resting on the outside of that door.
He shut it.
i rest in knowing that with every door that has closed...
i have a God big enough on the other side.