Before I begin this post, do me a favour… relinquish every idea of God being a genie, relinquish every notion of your affiliation to God meaning a lifelong party in Disney Land, forget what mummy and daddy said about having everything laid on a silver platter because God loves you, and because you are a “perfect and obedient Christian”. Wipe that slate clean.
You know who was obedient to God? Noah. Because he was a good man in a sinful generation, God loved him. So much so that He decided not only to save his life but also the lives of his extended family. How did God do this? He told him to build an Ark! Now, take your time to think about it. He built a 520 feet ship… in the old days… no crane, no construction company!
You’d think that because God loved him he would make things easy… I mean, the least He could have done is drop a ready-made boat for the old man. Unfortunately this was not the case. Noah (who, by the way, was above 500 years old) had to sweat along with his family members to complete this blessing from God.
Now forget about Noah building the “Titanic”… after Noah’s 600th birthday, the rain comes pouring, the world floods and he and his family, including a bunch of animals, are safe… “Hurray! Glory be to God!!” Sounds like a fairy tale ending, right? Well, think again…
Do you think it’s a cake ride taking care of a 1000 species of flying, walking, crawling, slithering beasts for more than one year!? Scraping cow dung, feeding lions, washing leopards… (Okay, I’m not sure if some of these animals existed back then, but you get my point). This is the same man that had been blessed with life, he had been saved, he had been chosen, he had God’s favour… but there he was with his family trapped in what must have been a noisy, smelly, floating mansion. I bet you’ve never thought about it like that, the Bible has a way of making things seem very melodious. The truth is, sometimes purpose takes precedence over comfort.
Now, this brings me to the whole point of this post. What quality did Noah and his gang exhibit during this whole period? Long-suffering! Other editions of the Bible call it Patience. It is one of the qualities of a Christian. A lot of folks try to dodge it. All you hear being associated to the Christian life is “goodness”, “joy”, “peace” and other candy flavoured nouns. They cannot fathom a blessing from God wrapped in long-suffering. Unfortunately guys, Galatians 5:22 along with several others say differently.
Do not let this fact scare you, Long-suffering in no way signifies acceptance of defeat… it means have patience. It means bear with that issue for just a little longer. It’s a process, it will be over. Eventually Noah and his family got back on dry ground, enjoying rainbows and peace. You will too.