God, I want to be obedient in every area and with every action to which You call me. Give me ears to hear and a heart to follow as You lead me in the way You have made for me.

Focus of the Month: Ordinary Women with Extraordinary Hope

In the middle of the market crash, my husband was laid off his job, my boss was retiring, and we were both staring unemployment down the barrel. My job situation was known and planned for a year ahead of time. His layoff was immediate and unexpected. …when it rains, it pours…

I had applied at multiple businesses, interviewed at temp agencies, and scoured the classified ads for jobs. Most companies in that period, however, were laying off employees – not hiring. Simultaneously, my husband joined me with sending out resume’s, applications, and networking.

We prayed and sought direction from God – but felt stuck. Eventually, we both felt led to work as self-employed individuals, utilizing the skills, abilities, and knowledge we each had. I sought my real estate license, while my husband started his own home-improvement business. Each of us was resolute in our direction, yet both of us desired one of us to have a steady, confirmed paycheck. Could we follow our own convictions, AND support the other as God led us in this season unlike any other we’ve ever experienced?

There’s a woman in the Bible whom we may not study often, but I have received such strength from. Genesis 7 mentions Noah’s wife:

Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came upon the earth. And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives with him went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood. Of clean animals, and of animals that are not clean, and of birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground, two and two, male and female, went into the ark with Noah, as God had commanded Noah. 10 And after seven days the waters of the flood came upon the earth.

Noah’s wife went with Noah on the ark. Perhaps you are thinking, “I would, too – the flood was coming!” But it hadn’t even started raining yet… In fact, it had never rained before. She watched as Noah built the ark – day after day – plank after plank. Neither of them had experienced rain, nor a flood. Noah’s wife had to trust that Noah was hearing clearly from God as he built this massive structure.

Not only that, Noah’s wife boarded the ark and had to work those many weeks to help care for the people and the animals on the ark. There were only 8 people aboard that boat which housed animal pairs of every kind: Noah, his wife, their 3 sons, and their 3 daughters-in-law. Think of the chores the 8 people on board had to perform to ensure the health and safety of all – including themselves! …the feeding, watering, waste removal, cleaning…

Nonetheless, against all prior experience and all reason, Noah’s wife did not just stand by her husband during mind-boggling circumstances, but contributed to the success of the endeavor. There is no mention of Noah’s wife grumbling, complaining, whining, or defying the plans and instructions of God. The only picture we see is Noah’s wife obediently acting as God had instructed.

What is our response when the pouring rain deluges our lives? When circumstances surpass our ability to process a viable solution? How do we act – or react – when we have to clean up the proverbial animal dung in our lives, day after day? Do we trust the Lord with every step – every hardship – every unexpected circumstance? Or, do we try to reason the circumstances to fit our finite minds and our own plans?

As for my husband and I, regardless of our dire circumstances, every need we had was met. We lacked for nothing in that season, despite the market situations. What seemed impossible was possible.

God makes a way for us when there seems to be no way. Let’s seek Him with our whole heart, knowing He has a plan for us with good results – no matter what! When circumstances make your mind go tilt, remember Noah’s wife. She willingly and obediently boarded that ark and contributed to the success of God’s plan – against all odds.

Holding Fast to Hope,
Maryann

Scripture References: Genesis 6-7; Proverbs 3:5-6; Psalm 27:14; Jeremiah 29:11-12