Last week I was sitting at our kitchen table looking out the window at an intense rainstorm that hit Lubbock out of nowhere. Our town is FLAT. So our streets quickly become little rivers.
I was kind of surprised at how quickly the water was collecting in our cul de sac. And I’m just nerdy enough to start thinking about Noah. So I turned to Genesis. I read his story. And then I thought about how C R A Z Y it was for God to tell him to build an “ark.” Did they even have arks back then? Or would this have been the first?
And just how DID ol’ Noah, “Find favor in the eyes of the Lord”? (Gen. 6:8) in the midst of such a crooked people...
I sat back as it continued to rain and considered the faith it took for him to build that ark.
And the energy. It had to have been exhausting.
I considered the ridicule around him as he built.
I bet people walked by and giggled. At the very least.
I bet they mocked him. Rolled their eyes.
Surely they wondered what he was up to… thinking he was crazy, maybe? I bet there were a lot of whispers.
But Noah had heard the voice of God.
Noah was God’s favored one. So God gave Noah a sneak peek at His plans. A very intentional download with blueprints created just for Noah. He’s God. He gets to decide who knows what’s happening. His plan was for Noah to start building. To start preparing a way to preserve himself and his family and all living things. No pressure.
So Noah got the inside scoop… which sounds cool… but he still had to choose to trust God...
He had to choose to walk in faith.
The earth was corrupt in God’s sight according to Gen. 6:11 (something I believe we can relate to today…), so God said to Noah in verse 13, “I have decided to put an end to all flesh, for the earth is filled with violence because of them; therefore I am going to destroy them along with the earth. Make yourself an ark of gopher wood.”
I mean….really? God, you just created the earth a few chapters ago, saw that it was good, etc. etc. and now you decided to destroy it?
“When the Lord saw that man’s wickedness was widespread on the earth and that every scheme his mind thought of was nothing but evil all the time, the Lord regretted that He had made man on the earth and He was grieved in His heart.”
Oh man. Grieved in His heart because of our sin. The sin pattern that started in the garden had grown rampant. I call it the sin trend. Everybody’s doing it. They were doing it in Noah’s day and we’re doing it now.
But Noah found favor.
He heard the Lord and he chose to ignore the ridicule and focus on the task. I bet he had the sweetest fellowship. With every step of obedience. Every piece of the ark placed just as God planned.
His presence was there. God was speaking. Whispering.
Cheering him on from the heavens…and from the earth.
Cheers of provision and direction and wisdom.
Noah listened and responded in faith.
Building the ark was an act of worship.
This is what happens when He gives a vision.
I can’t fathom the amount of time it took to gather all the pieces from trees that God created from dust years before for this very purpose. The brilliance of a God who planted trees at creation that would be used to deliver Noah and his family from the flood astounds me.
I can’t imagine what it would have been like for Noah to explain this crazy idea to his family. I can just see their faces. They probably turned around and smirked thinking “Ok, Noah. Whatever. If you build it… and IF a flood comes...”
I wonder about the moments of doubt he probably had where he wondered what in the WORLD God was calling him to do and thought about giving up because it was WAY TOO HARD.
Did he doubt?
And I can’t imagine the preparation it took to provide for the animals and family on the ark for so long. TWO OF EACH?? Of ALL the animals? And enough food to sustain them? All of them? His family and all those animals? Insanity. I can’t even keep my three kids full during the summer. Three meals a day is a LOT. And here he is in a zoo lost at sea. For a LONG TIME. And he’s responsible for it.
But this is God’s plan for Noah. To keep His creation ALIVE.
The Bible says, “And Noah did this. He did everything that God had commanded him.”
God gave Noah more details. Including a timeline. “Seven days from now I will make it rain on the earth 40 days and 40 nights, and I will wipe off the face of the earth every living thing I have made.”
And, again, the Bible says, “Noah did everything the Lord commanded of him.” (7:6)
The rain started. They entered the ark. “And the LORD shut him in.”
They were safe and secure because God himself had provided a place of refuge in the flood.
Finally, Noah’s obedience started making sense to others. A whole lot of sense. But only because the floods came. And, “the deluge continued 40 days on the earth; the waters increased and lifted up the ark so that it rose above the earth.”
The flood destroyed the earth. But it lifted Noah, his family, the animals, and the ark above the destruction.
The ark floated on the surface of the waters.
But I wonder about the number of days on the ark after the rain began where Noah looked out at the flooded world and asked HOW LONG LORD?? It doesn’t say he did that. I’m just thinking about what I would have done…
Possibly jumped overboard. Imagine your entire family and ALL THOSE ANIMALS!?!?
“All of this lasted 150 days.” Genesis 7:24…and in those 150 days God did what He decided to do. “Everything with the breath of the spirit of life in its nostrils - everything on dry land died.” verse 22
Fast forward. We know how this ends. Noah walks in obedience with God. He doesn’t jump overboard like I would. God’s purpose was accomplished and the flood receded.
Thankfully, God promised Noah that He would never flood the earth and destroy it like that again.
He had another plan for our sin trend.
A redemptive plan. Jesus.
And He’s still at work.
If we listen to Him… seek Him.. and respond in obedience… we get to join Him.
We get to be part of the plan.
Our acceptance of Jesus is our commitment to live out the purpose He created us for.
As I sought to walk in the purpose God created me for, He made it very clear that I needed to write a book about how I learned to follow Him. It was a tall order but I thought, ok, I can do this… I’ve always wanted to write a book…
And then I got started.
What He asked me to write was SO MUCH MORE than I ever dreamed I would share.
But He kept pushing me.
He kept calling me deeper.
He kept asking me to be more vulnerable, more trusting, more open with my struggles of faith and fear and following Him.
But I did it.
It was a sacrifice of time and energy and faith. It was scary. It was worship. It was exhausting.
And I would do it again. Because I’m hearing that He’s using it. To draw hearts toward Him. To draw women out of their funk and into faith… and to walk in His calling on their lives.
He’s breaking chains.
This whole faith and obedience experience - as hard as it has been - just brings me back to the very reason I wrote the book… the very reason I was stirred to want more of Him.
God is radically at work. I want to join Him.
So where is He? Where is He radically at work?
He’s with the broken hearted. He’s with the lonely. The fatherless. He’s with the orphans and the widows. He’s with the homeless. He’s with the unwed teen mamas. He’s with the people living in poverty.
He’s with the least of these.
The ones we hardly come into contact with anymore unless we raise funds and go on a “mission trip.”
The least of these are in our own communities and we are missing them as we rush to church and school and sports and the nail salon and the happy hour trying to overcome this restlessness inside us. We stay busy because that’s what we’ve been taught… but we are missing Him.
I’m not judging. I was the most restless of all. I called it depression. And chronic fatigue. Add to that a chronic chips and salsa addiction. Chronic bible study drop out.
Nothing satisfied me. I wanted more.
So I started searching… seeking… asking God what the heck He was doing on this earth and why I was so bored with it.
I was underwhelmed.
He answered me.
And He led me to places where He was at work that I never would have known about if I hadn’t asked Him to show me. To lead me. And if I hadn’t said yes... I’ll follow You.
I began to dream about helping ALL the people in ALL the places where God was radically working. I wanted ALL my friends to come help!! I wanted to serve the homeless and feed the children and pay the bills of the widow and adopt ALL the orphans.
I literally dreamed about it.
I started helping and supporting ministries as often as I could… with the money I had to give... and the time I had to devote… but it never felt like enough.
I knew I couldn't do what He put in my heart to do alone.
That is how The FOUND Mission was born.
The Lord, in His incredible provision, gave my friend Corie and I a similar heart and passion. And He put us in the same place at the same time with the same restlessness. We connected when we realized our hearts desired the same move of God among His people.
The mission of FOUND is to connect the restless hearts of Christians with the places God is already radically at work in our communities.
We get to join Him.
Many courageous saints have stepped out in faith just like Noah to build their Ark for such a time as this. They’re out working… getting their hands dirty… with Jesus… and the least of these. And they need our help.
The harvest is plentiful and the workers are few.
I’m confident that so many of us, if we’re honest with ourselves and our saved souls, would sacrifice time and energy and resources to join Jesus at work if only we knew what He was up to in our own communities.
We’ve craved that since VBS. Since we walked the aisle.
We had, at some point, an encounter with the King of Kings that caused us to come face-to-face with our own sin, His holiness, and the Way He made for us to follow Him.
We said YES and we prayed HARD and then...
We went right back to our lives.
When we find ourselves in that place… when the fire has burned out… because we haven’t fanned the flame… we are left to wonder if this mundane, ordinary life is what being a Christian is all about.
It’s so much more.
There is a standing invitation to feed our souls… to fan the flame… with the ways and words of Jesus.
To align our hearts and minds with His and to become His hands and feet. In our homes, in our workplaces, and in our communities.
So… if you’re there… if you’re ready to get to work… to seek Him… to follow Him… join us.
We need you.
He told us to put this together and then you’d come.
It’s one of those “If you build it they will come” kinds of things.
We are building and we know He’s moving. This is the first step in connecting with you.
Our next step with The FOUND Mission is to self-publish my book, The FOUND Journals, in a traditional paperback format so that it will be available online and in bookstores. Even this non-traditional route is expensive.
We created some shirts that share the vision He gave us with the goal of selling enough shirts to fund the next step.
We would be honored if you purchased a shirt, wore it, and committed to ask the Lord about joining us in this mission.
We are confident that He will stir your heart. He is always leading. It’s up to us to follow Him.