\I will rejoice greatly in the LORD,
My soul will exult in my God;
For He has clothed me with garments of salvation,
He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness,
They see an ark builder.
I see nakedness.
This past week I have received a few phone calls and messages from folks asking to get together so that I could offer some hope, some encouragement, some wisdom.
I am delighted to meet with friends that I haven’t seen in years or ones that I only get to see on Sundays. I’m excited that others see my faith lived out. I just gotta be sure they know the reality: I may have some ark building faith, but I’ve also got plenty of drunken, lying-in-the-tent-naked moments, figuratively speaking. Moments when I don’t seem to have a clue how to parent or organize my life or even what direction I’m supposed to be walking in.
And I know – oh how I know! – how desperately I need a blanket of grace covering me.
In the beginning of Genesis (chapter 5) we first meet Noah and quickly discover he is a man of faith.
Ark building faith.
When the rest of the world was so deviant, so corrupt, so self-centered and evil that God lamented creating man, Noah was plodding along, trusting in God.
His faith was big enough that when God said “Build an ark,” he did it. Despite the fact that rain was a totally foreign concept at that point and a flood something the imagination probably couldn’t even fathom.
Noah did all that God commanded him to do, and so he survived the only worldwide flood that will ever occur. He patiently waited and praised God through it all. Amazing, astounding faith.
Noah’s story didn’t end in chapter 8, when he stepped out onto dry land and immediately built an alter to the Lord.
Chapter 9 tells us that as Noah began to farm, he, uh, imbibed of his vineyard…to the point where he was drunk, naked and passed out in his tent.
He couldn’t blame it on his drinking buddies ‘cause he didn’t have any.
Drunk. Smashed, Plastered. Inebriated. Hammered. Tanked. And naked. You get the picture.
Our faith hero.
The one that Hebrews says this about:
By faith, Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, by which he condemned the world, and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith. Hebrew 11:7 NASB
I’m like Noah in a lot of ways.
Genesis 6:8 says But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
I, too, found grace – life saving, over-the-top, get-drunk-and-naked-and-still-be-used-by-Him kinda grace.
Unlike Noah, God didn’t see me and say “Marie was a just (wo)man, perfect in (her) generations. Marie walked with God.” No, it was more like “Marie was a cigar smoking, sailor-mouthed drunk.” But I still found grace in His eyes!
(Grace is needed whether you think you are a “just” person or whether you are a drunkard.)
Like Noah, I’ve had some amazing, mind-blowing faith trips when all the circumstances and world around me were chaos.
And like Noah, I also have found myself roused from a drunken sleep, naked and alone and shamed and wondering, what happened?
I haven’t been drunk from alcohol since the end of the eighties.
But what is drunkenness? It is something that causes impaired thinking and impaired vision and foolish behaviors.
Oh, have I been drunk!
Drunk on self, drunk on pity-parties, drunk on pride, drunk on fear.
From ark building faith to drunkenness, just like Noah. Sometimes in the same day.
Two of Noah’s sons, Shem and Japeth, were so gracious. In Genesis 9:23 it says But Shem and Japeth took a garment and laid it on both of their shoulders and went backward and covered the nakedness of their father. Their faces were turned away and they did not see their father’s nakedness.
In my case, it’s not my children that have covered my foolishness, (though they have graciously endured it) but my compassionate Father in heaven. Through His grace, through His kindness and compassion, He has placed the garment of Jesus Christ over all my shame and regrets.
Yeah, I’ve got ark building faith.
And I’ve got human frailties, human weakness, human blundering, epic failures and a never ending need for grace garments.
I’m so thankful that what others see is His blanket of Grace covering my ugly nakedness. I don’t need to be perfect, just covered.
My friends, don’t think that YOU can’t be an encourager of ark building faith. Get under His covering, into His Word and be amazed.
Grateful for this wonderful life,
Marie with a 🙂