40 endless days bring an end to all that is: the rich green meadows, the sparkling streams that interplay with sunlight and stones, the towns bustling with life. Chaos overtakes calm; flood furies consume; mountains do fall into the sea
Noah looks into the dark circling waters and sees his future. At least what should have been his future. The oceanic abyss should have swallowed him and his family.
Just as the LORD had said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.”
But Noah finds grace in the eyes of the LORD.
Noah passes through the swirling storms of judgment safely. The end comes and goes. The squall of destruction passes.
This new Adam looks out from the ark into the new world that awaits. The cool mist of Spring greets his nostrils with damp, vigorous life.
Slowly stepping onto sweet soft grass, he lifts songs of thanks. A soft white smoke swirls up from the altar. The sweet aroma gently floats up into the sky meeting burst of colors arching down through ephemeral clouds.
God’s promise. God’s reminder. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
The sign still shines. We are the people of the sign. We live under the sign of his covenant, his favor. Chaos threatens the world. Chaos even threatens our lives. Failure, pain, and disappointment cloud our paths.
Yet even now, as we trudge toward the hill, we can rest under the sign of the cross. The Father beholds us through the prism of the Son and sees a bursting bow of variegated beauty encircling his children.
And he remembers.
Doug Floyd, March 12, 2003