Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tuesday Toss-up (& a rabbit trail)

I received an email from Dayspring Cards today (I guess they send you their sale emails once you sign up to send a free e-card) ... anyway, it had this scripture which I thought was just perfect for Fall... "The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever." Isaiah 40:8 (NIV) Isn't that a beautiful promise to us?

One thing I find simply amazing is ... that no matter what the season is, God always has beauty waiting for us... so when the summer grass withers and the spring and summer flowers fall, the leaves begin to turn beautiful colors and dazzle us with an array of breathtaking color! And ... when the leaves fall, and the weather gets very cold, we get to enjoy beautiful icicles dripping from the tree limbs, snow glistening in the fields and capping the mountains like thick fur coats. And, once all that begins to melt away, the bright and fresh green grass pops up, along with the spring flowers. Beauty is everywhere we look, we just have to take the time to discover it! And no matter how gray, wet, cold or overcast this fall or winter might get, God's Word is always there waiting to warm our hearts, open our eyes, and cast a golden glow on everything!

I know I'm going way off track here, but hey ... I am the queen of rabbit trails ... remember ... I'm practicing being a rabazelle. Anyway, imagine that you are Mrs. Noah. First of all ... did you realize she was only referred to as "Noah's wife"? That's just wrong! But, from what I understand, according to Jewish tradition her name is Naamah... but STILL! After putting up with a boat full of stinky animals (ehem ... and humans) for over a year, living on stale, old, food and water, and having to do manual labor to muck stalls and feed all those animals, you'd think that someone, somewhere in the Bible, would at LEAST drop her name here or there! ANYWAY ... Can you imagine the change she faced when they opened the ark's doors? The land that she knew before the flood was gone, and now, she was surrounded by water! What a change! And probably, there were changes in the temperatures, as well many other changes I can't even fathom.

So, I guess we are fortunate in that we know what to expect each season, and we're not tossed around each season in a huge, dark ark with clamoring animals and people everywhere, and no idea what we'll see when the storms are over.

So -- how was that for a rabbit trail? Pretty good, huh? But, I can swing off of that rabbit trail with this (watch me work):

Mrs. Noah must have been a very courageous woman. Her world was turned upside down. Her friends, and probably some family members, perished in the most horrific storm ever to occur. She was mocked and ridiculed, but yet, she had tremendous faith in a time when everything she knew was getting ready to be destroyed. Imagine hearing people's (and animal's) screams as they were drowning? I can only equate it to the horrors of the tsunami of 2004 in the Indian Ocean off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia, in which hundreds of thousands of people were killed, and thousands more were missing and lost. The people that survived the tsunami all have their own horror stories and experiences. Mrs. Noah must have possessed a great strength that can only be found in one who is deeply and spiritually rooted to face such a great storm! She was a Godly wife. A Godly mother. A Godly woman. She was instrumental in saving the human race from extinction, for crying out loud! That's a tall order to fill! She was a woman of courage. A woman of grace. A woman of faith. A woman of strength. And, she had to stand on God's Word for all she was worth in order to survive. After all, he was there for them while they prepared for numerous years, he was there during the storm, and after the storm, he promised he would never bring another storm like that one, and he hasn't! His word stands forever!

Now ... after all that ... I have a Tuesday Toss-up for you ...

How do YOU define "Courage?"

(you thought I was going to ask you a question about the seasons, didn't you?!)

10 comments:

Lori said...

(Off on the rabbit trail with you for a moment...) I'm sooo glad you mentioned Mrs. Noah. She had to have been a incredible wife to put up with her husband during the building of the ark. The faith she must have had in him (as well as in her God) was amazing. How many of us would follow our husbands through a seemingly crazy project, supporting him and being a true helpmeet? I know I would struggle through the ridicule of my family and myself.

As far as your toss-up question...what is courage? Courage is the willingness to go above and beyond. I have a pet peeve with the overuse of the word "heroes". Nowadays, everyone is a 'hero'. The premise of the Disney show, Higglytown Heroes is infuriating to me because they trivialize the true heroes in today's society. Our military, our first responders, those with the COURAGE to go above and beyond. Those who are not afraid to face the unknown to preserve something of value like freedom and the sanctity of life. Okay, I think I might be off on another rabbit trail...I'd better stop before I reach my word limit...

Great question!

Heather Smith said...

I love your rabbit trails. Courage, I see it as a willingness to follow God and trust in Him no matter what the circumstances. Whether His path leads you through a field of green or through the valley of death.
It isn't something that every person posesses, but it is something that every person can posess if only they will learn to put their full trust in God.
Those are my thoughts anyway!

Susanne said...

Your rabbit trails are an absolute riot. I'll follow you down one any day, and I don't say that to just anyone, you know!

Courage, that's such a big word. To me courage is not a lack of fear. To me courage is doing what you know you have to do because it is right and/or because God asked you to something, in spite of your fear. That to me is courage.
Soldiers, fireman, police officers, parents who discipline, teens who stand up to bullies are all examples to me of courage. You can't say to me that they do not have fear as they are doing what they do, but they do what is right in spite of the fear they may be feeling. (I can think of way more examples but don't want to hijack your comments).

kpjara said...

The weather is...oh wait...uhmmm okay!

Courage: the unbridled willingness to stand up for our convictions. The quality given to us as we place our lives in God's hands that enables us to mourn loss and still thrive.

Faith said...

Mrs. Noah was indeed courageous. It takes alot of courage to go through the changes that this life brings and keep your eyes focused on God the whole time. Courages is taking a back seat to God , as He directs your paths. That is hard to do on a day to day basis. When the path is broken and cracked or turns a different way thatn you were expecting, it takes courage and Faith to open your arms wide, close your eyes and fall into God's grace.

I needed this today. Thanks!!!

GiBee said...

HOLY LIFE CHANGE, BATMAN!

I know Faith said "changes that this life brings," but really -- can you just imagine what the "change OF life" (as in ... MENOPAUSE) might have been like for Mrs. Noah in an ark full of animals, men, and NO.FRESH.AIR. GAAH! Oh, the hot-flashes! And ... I wonder how long they lasted? After all ... they lived like 900 years!

Yeah ... just another rabbit trail.

kpjara said...

Thank you Lord that I do NOT have to go through 'life change' on a large boat full of animals (scent and sound included)...as well as family with no end in sight! Thank you GOD for soap, water and land!

momrn2 said...

We are currently reading the story of Noah in our family devotions. Last night we read about it taking him 120 years to build that thing. And it had never rained. Yeah... you go girl... Mrs. Noah. Can you imagine the questions and then the laughter when they talked about water coming from the sky... and the "insane" discussion remained consistent for 120 years?!

Tonight in our reading, the flood occured... water 20 above the tallest mountain. Now that is some serious water.

Thanks for bringing her to my attention. Coincidence that we are reading through that here in the "Quiet Corner" house? I think not. She will be a good woman for me to ponder for a bit.

Mrs. Noah...may I be as supportive, loyal, and trusting and obedient to my God as you!

Stacey said...

I hope I'm not too late, I just made it over here this morning. I say courage is having the strength to go through what God has placed in your life and doing it with an attitude of learning.

Pretty simple, I guess : )

Shalee said...

Courage is not equivalent with being fearless.

When your knees knock, your heart races and you sweat with the thought of doing something that needs to be done and yet you still do it, that is what I call courage. It's the ability to do when all about you says don't.