My story has been told again and again. It has been written down and read by thousands upon thousands. The ironic thing is that my story has reoccurred in children’s books and lessons for years. I know that as children, you often simplify stories because they just don’t understand things like adults do. But if you stop and think about it…my story isn’t really a children’s story.
When God told me to build an ark, I was scared. I had never done anything like that before and would God really send rain? I mean, come on! It hasn’t rained in forever! What will the others think of me? I must confess…those thoughts did enter my mind. However, I remembered the stories and the events in my lifetime that told of God’s provision so I decided to trust Him. Every day that I spent building that massive boat was a trial. It was hot and it was hard work. On top of that, everyone who passed by made some cutting remark or just laughed loudly. I tried to ignore them. While it was fairly easy to ignore those who I never or rarely spoke too, it was not so easy to ignore the laughter or jabbing remarks of those that I had once called my friends.
Believe me when I say that I tried to tell them. I really tried! Sadness filled my heart whenever I thought of what was to come…my friends and neighbors would not repent and would therefore perish. That stabbed my heart. It took a long time to build that boat, but it was finally completed. I’m not going to lie, it did look a little funny…a huge boat just sitting on the land like that when it hadn’t rained for such a long time. The jeers and taunts had become a part of my every day life now and they didn’t bother me as badly as they had when they had just started, though I couldn’t help but worry about them for the future. I still tried to tell them to repent and about God’s love…but they didn’t listen.
Before long, God brought the animals to me and I found myself sadly scanning the landscape where I had called home and the people that I had called my people…my friends and neighbors; before my family and I entered the ark with the animals and God shut the door. The ridicule didn’t stop when we entered the boat. One day passed, and the rain did not come. My friends and neighbors only laughed harder. I almost felt shame and embarrassment; but I told myself that what God had told me would come true in His timing. So I waited. I quickly got bored as the boat sat on solid ground for six more days after that.
Then, to everyone’s astonishment, it started to rain. No, it didn’t just rain. It poured! Out of the boat’s windows, I could see the people’s astonished faces as they exited their houses to see the rain that they had not seen for such a long time. Then, I saw their horror as we were quickly washed away from the dwindling dry land. But inside the ark, me and my family were safe. I thanked God every day for His amazing and abundant Grace that He had bestowed on us.
As the waters continued to rise, my heart throbbed for those lost in the roaring waters. I saw my friends and my neighbors. Even if I had wanted to help them, I was helpless to do so. They had lost their chances. Second chances don’t happen every day. Before those people drowned, their faces and their screams haunted me for weeks in my dreams. Such looks of horror and anguish, I had never seen before. Mothers, searching frantically for their small children and hugging them tightly before they were snatched from her grasp from the cruel waves; men grabbing onto anything and everything to keep them afloat. A piece of drift wood; a branch; anything that appeared to be floating. Men who had always been brave showed their terror. Children cried and clutched to their mother’s skirts before the current was too strong for them and ducked them into the raging waters, leading to their pre-mature death. The children had done nothing wrong. It was because of their parents’ sins, that these children were called to suffer.
The cries. The screams. The calls. They were endless. As I said earlier, they haunted me every night for weeks. They were all calling for someone. Their calls would often be cut short however, when a strong current would force their heads under the raging waters for a moment, before they managed to pull themselves up for some air for a few short moments. Dry land was almost non-existent now. The rain had still not let up. Trees and pieces of houses drifted past our boat every now and then. I thanked God that He had saved us from his wrath on the sins of His people. I sadly looked through a window again. I could see heads becoming smaller and fewer. A few people had still managed to keep their heads above water, but they were getting weaker. They had somehow managed to grasp onto a tree branch or a piece of wood, but they wouldn’t last long. The currents were strong; rushing, really. The heads of people that I knew soon dropped below the surface of the waves as they gave up their struggle. Even though the storm still raged, the air somehow seemed still and quiet. There were no longer any screams or cries for help. There was nothing. There were no longer any people or animals except for those on this boat. If only those people had believed. If only they had listened when I told them to repent and change their lifestyle. If only…
This is why so much of my story has been left out in children’s stories. Sure, it is a story of salvation for me and my family. Yes, it is an amazing story of God’s Grace and Mercy. But what about all of those people who drowned? The children stories never go into that much detail. There is much more to my story than some people realize. Don’t get me wrong; I am eternally grateful that God extended His Grace and Mercy to me and my family. But those cries for help and looks of anguish still haunt me every night. But God be praised that He saved me, his lowly servant!