God’s Plan for Christmas
The Tale of Noah and the Ark – Part 3
Stanley stands next to Grampa in his big chair, “Grampa?”
“You know I really want to thank you for telling this story. I never knew that Noah was part of how God prepared the world for Christmas.”
Grampa chuckles. “It’s my pleasure Stanley. Did you know that you are my favorite grandson?”
“Really? Thanks, Grampa. Hey! Wait, I’m your only grandson.”
Grampa chuckles again. “See what I mean? You’re really smart.”
Grampa wraps Stanley up in his arms and gives him a big hug. “Go get Sue and Jon. It’s time for our story.”
Stanley runs off, “Sue, Jon it’s time for the story.”
When they have all settled in their places, Grampa begins …
# # #
We suddenly pitched to the left. Things were sliding across the floor and falling. Then we pitched back the other way. Something hit me and knocked me down. Pop was right there with his strong arm, and he picked me up. And then…the ark steadied upright again, and we could tell that we were still moving. It was really weird!
After we put a few of the things that had slid around back where they belonged, we raced up the big stairway to the windows on the top deck of the ark. All we could see was water for miles and miles. There were just a few mountaintops off in the distance.
We were alone in the middle of all of this water that wasn’t even there just a few days ago. I couldn’t believe it. It was like a dream. I didn’t even want to believe it. I thought that I would wake up in just a minute. But…. I didn’t.
The sky was blacker than anything I had ever seen; the wind was blowing so hard it was hard to stand still. It made me feel so cold with the rain coming down harder and harder. I kept thinking about all the people and things that were under that water. I just stood there hanging on the edge of the window looking out.
I couldn’t understand why they all had to…be destroyed. That made me angry, so I went to a small place on the ark that I had discovered to hide when I didn’t want to be found. I wanted to think about things for a while.
I thought about the people and the places that I knew. Grampa was right. There were people that did really mean things. I didn’t understand a lot of what went on, but I thought that those people wanted to live that way. Maybe it was ok if they weren’t hurting anyone but themselves.
But then I got to thinking about something Pop had told me. If I make something and it doesn’t turn out right or work the way I wanted it to, I could tear it apart and start over if I wanted. He told me that was what God was doing. He was going to start over. He was going to keep parts of what He made that He liked and was going to do the rest over again. It was His choice. I repeated that to myself, “It was His choice, and He always chooses to do the right thing.”
I didn’t even hear Grampa come up behind me. The first thing I knew was that his hand was on my shoulder. I turned and looked up at him. He told me to follow him. He led me to where the birds were kept. The light was dim, and it was pretty warm in there. They seemed to be comfortable with that. They were strangely peaceful and quiet. We found a little bench to sit on, and Grampa and I sat there watching the birds for quite a while. We used to do that sometimes at home on his favorite bench, under his favorite tree, watching the sun go down. It was almost like old times. I began to feel a lot better and was able to relax a little. Then he scooted away from me just a bit, bent down, and looked me in the eyes and said, “Enoch, I am sure that all of this is frightening. It would frighten me too, and it might even make me angry…if I did not know the Lord the way that I do. That helps me to trust Him. Enoch, I want you to know the Lord the same way that I do. I want you to trust Him the same way that I do.”
I looked into Grampa’s eyes. They were deep and soft and loving. I knew I could believe him and trust him. Trusting God was a little bit harder for me. Then I remembered what Pop had said. He told me to trust Grampa and to trust in the Lord.
“God is faithful,” he always said, “you just obey and wait and see.”
Grampa had said the same thing many times. Suddenly, I felt like I wanted to trust him, God I mean.
“Grampa,” I said.
“Don’t say anything now,” Grampa said. “Would you pray with me?”
I looked down for a moment, and then back into his big eyes.
“Yes,” I said, “I would like that.”
“Hold my hands,” he said. I put my hands into his. My hands were so small compared to his. They were big and worn from many years of hard work, but at the same time, they were soft and tender.
He began to speak quietly, with confidence and familiarity.
“Lord God, God of the heavens and the earth, God of our fathers Adam and Enoch, Lord God, hear us now as we speak. I am here with my grandson Enoch. He is having a hard time trusting you; he might even be a little bit angry with you. He doesn’t know it is ok, to be honest about all of our feelings. Mostly because he does not know you as I do. I know you are faithful and true. I also know that you love us each more than we could ever realize. Please help my grandson Enoch to know you as I do. Help him seek you and to know you as his great, great, great … great-grandfather Enoch knew you. Help him to trust you and to know you are faithful. Thank you, Lord, for I know you will hear and answer this prayer.”
With that, he squeezed my hands, and I knew it was my turn to talk to the Lord.
I was scared.
It’s not every day you talk to the God that created the universe, but Grampa knew Him so well and trusted Him so much I wanted to try.
I started the same way Grampa did.
“Lord God, God of the heavens and the earth, this is Enoch, and I’ve never spoken to you before because … I … well, I just didn’t know I could. Now I know I can. I have learned that from my Grampa, and I just want you to know I want to trust you in the same way my Grampa does. Please help me because I’m pretty young…and, well, I’m really new at this. Please help me to trust that you’ll take care of all of us in this ark and one day soon we can live on land again.”
Grampa laughed a little, but I kept going.
“Thank you, Lord, for loving us. Thank you for loving my family and me. Help us to take good care of all the animals. Especially help me to take care of all of the birds. There are more birds here than I’ve ever seen in my whole life.”
“Anyway, thank you, Lord. Please forgive me for being angry with you. Please help me to do my part of trusting you to take care of everything else on the outside of the ark. I know it’s my job to just trust and obey you.”
Then Grampa put his big arms around me and gave me a really good hug. He looked me right in the eyes and said, “God is faithful, just you wait and see.”
I gave him a big smile and said, “Ok, Grampa, I’ll do my best. The Lord has to help me, but I will try very hard and trust Him.”
“God is faithful,” he said, “just you wait and see.”
Then he walked away. I sat there with the birds for a long time thinking about all that had happened. I felt more peaceful than before. I, somehow, just knew that things would be all right. But, our voyage had just begun.
# # #
“Wait a minute! Who’s hurt?” said Sue looking at Stanley.
“Yeah, don’t stop now,” chimed in Jon.
Stanley smiled. “Sorry guys, Grampa and I worked all this out, and that’s it for today.”
“Don’t worry, he’ll finish it up tomorrow guys. In the meantime, why don’t you all read the story of Noah in the Bible again? It’s in Genesis chapters six through nine. Think about what it means to you and to the rest of the world. How does it relate to Christmas?”
What would happen if the kids took time like Grandpa to meditate on stories from the bible? Do you think it would change the choices they make? Grandpa understands that what you know and hear stay in your head and the things you believe go into your heart. What you believe affects what you say and do. Grandpa wants God’s words in his heart; he wants to say and do things that make God happy. One of the stories Grandpa was putting into his heart was about a man named Jacob. Jacob was running away from his brother because he was afraid. Jacob was so tired from his journey that went to sleep with his head on a rock. God spoke words to Jacob while he was sleeping. When Jacob woke up, he thought about Gods words. Jacob put those words into his heart, and it changed his choices. Jacob decided to name the rock Bethel (that means House of God). Jesus was born in Bethlehem on Christmas morning. Bethlehem is another word for Bethel. Jesus believed everything God the Father spoke. When we ask Jesus into our heart, we believe he is God’s son. Jesus helps us say and do things that make God happy.
Gen 28:19 Num 24:17