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Rankin Lake Baptist Church



Rev. Jim Loftis

 March 2021
Have you ever wondered what is/was going through somebody’s mind?  that can get us in all sorts of trouble, especially if we think we know what someone is thinking—you know, mind reading?  But I am thinking about what is going through someone’s mind at a particular moment.
I guess with all the rain we have been having my brain is getting a little “soggy.”  But my thoughts have been drawn to Noah recently.  The Bible talks about Noah as being a righteous man, in another words, he valued what God said and attempted to do as God said.  During Noah’s day, there seemed to be little of that happening.  God had finally had enough of the disobedience and instructed Noah to build an ark.  God gave Noah the dimensions, along with other directions.  Finally, Noah and his family were building something they had never built (or so it seems) before.  Noah, according to Genesis 6:8, “found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”  That by itself is a powerful statement in light of the sinfulness and disobedience around in his present-day culture.  In essence, the ark was God’s instrument of grace for Noah and his family (as well as all the animals that were put on the ark, too).  After the ark was completed and God instructed Noah to collect all his family, animals and provisions, he was instructed to close the door to the ark.  And then it happened…it started raining! In my sanctified imagination (or maybe not so much), Noah sent his children daily to check out whether it was still raining. When Shem looked out, Noah called out to him, “Is it still raining?”  He said, “Yep, Dad, it’s still raining.”  The next day Noah sent Ham up to the top deck, and when he looked out, Noah said to him, “Is it still raining?”  He said, “Yep, Dad, it is still raining.”  And the next day, Noah sent Japheth up to the top deck to look outside to see if it was still raining and when he looked out, Noah said, “Is it still raining?”  And he said, “Yep, Dad, it is still      raining.”  You get the picture.  According to Genesis 7:12 it rained “40 days and 40 nights.”  That must have been some rain storm. 
When it rains around here (most of the time, off-and-on) for several hours, the backyard behind the parsonage floods.  I can only imagine what it was like to have that kind of downpour for 40 days straight—hence the flood God called forth on the face of the earth.  But that’s where my question of what is going through someone’s mind comes in…and this time it is focused on Noah’s mind?  What was going through his mind?  Some scholars say Noah was on that ark for nearly a year.  It wasn’t raining all that time, but I wonder if his mind had gotten a little soggy too?    Regardless, were his limitations stretched?  Did his wife get on his nerves? Did the children get on his nerves?  Did the relentless, continual chore-list get on his nerves?  You know, feeding the animals and     cleaning up after them, etc.?
While our minds can lead us astray, keeping them focused can be helpful, too!  But even with that, I can hardly get away from the phrase, Noah “found grace in the eyes of God.”  With that, we must acknowledge the ark was God’s instrument of grace.  As we look toward Easter, we must acknowledge the cross as the instrument of God’s grace, too.  The empty tomb reveals the power of God, but the cross was the instrument that set the stage. 
May God continue to reveal Himself to us, if even in the rain, to remind us He is still at work.  He loves you and me more than we can fathom.  And I love you, too!
Your Pastor and friend,
Jim Loftis


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