Advent 11/28/22 Sacred Time

Hope and Faith

Genesis 8:1-11 (NRSV)

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and all the domestic animals that
were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters
subsided; the fountains of the deep and the windows of the heavens were closed, the
rain from the heavens was restrained, and the waters gradually receded from the earth.
At the end of one hundred fifty days the waters had abated, and in the seventh month,
on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat.
The waters continued to abate until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day
of the month, the tops of the mountains appeared.
At the end of forty days Noah opened the window of the ark that he had made and sent
out the raven, and it went to and fro until the waters were dried up from the earth. Then
he sent out the dove from him to see if the waters had subsided from the face of the
ground, but the dove found no place to set its foot, and it returned to him to the ark, for
the waters were still on the face of the whole earth. So he put out his hand and took it
and brought it into the ark with him. He waited another seven days, and again he sent
out the dove from the ark, and the dove came back to him in the evening, and there in
its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf; so Noah knew that the waters had subsided
from the earth.

Hope and faith are major themes throughout the Bible. God asked many to have faith in
Him when all seemed like a lost cause. A perfect example of this is in the book of
Genesis and the story of Noah.

The flood was coming and God asked Noah to build an ark, in the desert! Noah’s hope,
faith, and belief in God led him and his family to safety. Would we be able to build our
own “ark” if God asked that of us? We often ask a lot of God. We ask for financial
stability, we ask for material things, we ask for love, and we ask for healing. Is our faith
strong enough to wait for God and His timing?

I found myself in a situation of questioning my faith almost 15 years ago. We were
blessed with our oldest daughter in 2001 but felt like our family was missing someone
else. Shortly after her birth, I was told that it was going to be extremely hard for me to
carry another child full term if I got pregnant at all. I yelled at God. I was mad at Him. My
husband and I suffered 2 miscarriages between 2001 and 2008. The beginning of 2008,
I made a “deal” with God. I was going to trust Him and let Him determine if my family
was complete then or not.

I did a lot of soul searching and praying for strength to give it to God. If you don’t know
me, I like to be in charge! In August of that year, I started to feel horrible and off. My
husband and I decided to take a pregnancy test. Sure enough, it was positive! We held
our breaths until the first time we heard our little man’s heartbeat for the first time. We
knew that God had answered our prayers, giving us a Rainbow Baby (a baby born after
a miscarriage of previous pregnancy). We named our Rainbow Baby Noah David. We
pray that our Noah would have enough hope and faith in God to build his own “ark”
someday-- if God asked him to.
-Rachel Russell

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