“After forty days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark.”Gen. 8:6
For forty days and for forty nights the storm raged, the waters rose and the once thriving earth was ravaged. Not since the earth had been “formless and void,” not since the “darkness was over the surface of the deep,” had there been such a scene (Gen. 1:2). God’s judgment had been swift and thorough.
And yet, huddled in the ark was a testament to God’s ever-present grace. Pacing the crowded passages of the ark Noah and his family must have had plenty of time to ponder the pounding rain and driving winds that marked the coming of God’s wrath. But then the rain stopped, the clouds pulled back, and the waters began to recede. “After forty days Noah opened the window he had made in the ark” (Gen. 8:6).
There is nothing quite as sweet as receiving respite when the heart has suffered blight. Still, if you have waited on the Lord for your rescue one year is like a thousand. After forty days and forty nights of waiting and hoping it was at last the morning of the first day and the window was thrown open. But the flood itself had lasted one hundred and fifty days. Thank God it was not one hundred and fifty years.
Those who have been through the desert, those who have walked through the valley of the shadow of death know what it is to come through to the other side can testify that there is another side. At the point when many of us might have lost hope, “God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and He sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded” (Gen. 8:1). If you are waiting—wait just a little longer.
Forty days is really not that long, and yet for the suffering soul, for the lonely ones, for the desperate and forlorn, it can seem like an eternity. God cares for us and is always working on our behalf. He knows us and has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jer. 29:11). This was the case even as the rains began and the waters rose. This was the case when the earth was covered and all life perished. And now, considering the incarnation of Jesus and the perfection of the Father’s work through Him—we have a “hope and a future” that does not wilt under the heat of trials. Never again will our hopes face the flood of God’s wrath.