Genesis 8:1, 3-4, 15-16, 18-20, But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided… and the waters receded from the earth continually. At the end of 150 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… Then God said to Noah, “Go out from the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons’ wives with you.” …So Noah went out, and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him. Every beast, every creeping thing, and every bird, everything that moves on the earth, went out by families from the ark. Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and took some of every clean animal and some of every clean bird and offered burnt offerings on the altar.
Before the great flood came, Noah and his family spent a week on the ark (7:4). Then there were 40 days of rain (v. 12), the flood resulting for 150 days (v. 24), and the waters receded for another 150 days (8:3). Then after 40 days Noah sent a raven and a dove for any sign that there was land, 7 days later the dove flew out again and this time returned with an olive leaf, then God finally said, “Go out from the ark.”
What would your reaction have been? I imagine you would’ve been relieved, right? I probably would’ve said something along the lines of, “Whew! Finally! Now I can finally get these smelly animals off the ark and start my life anew!” What was Noah’s reaction? I’m sure he was relieved, but that’s not how he reacted. Instead, he built an altar, worshipped God, and thanked Him for His faithfulness. What a faithful response to our faithful God.
After a long period of waiting for something to be over, when it’s finally over, I wonder if we often stop to thank the Lord for His faithfulness. After taking our final exams, we college students step out of the classroom and exclaim, “Finally! Finals are over! Now summer can finally begin!” We don’t thank God for His faithfulness for getting us through the stressful week—indeed, the stressful year and/or semester. Even at the Christian university I attend, we fail to give Him thanks. Or perhaps you’ve been working on a project at work and it’s been a long and stressful process and at the end of it you have a similar reaction to being relieved that it’s over but don’t thank the Lord for His faithfulness in getting you through it.
Let’s turn our relief into rejoicing in the Lord. Whenever we find ourselves relieved for whatever burden that’s finally ended, let’s thank the Lord for His faithfulness in getting us through the tough times. The Lord sustains our lives and it is because of Him that we continue living and have good jobs or are seeking a meaningful education. He upholds our lives, so let’s remember to thank Him whenever we successfully finish something, for it is His faithfulness that gets us through our challenges.