I have been moping. I have been fighting against the things in my life that I don’t like. I have been sulking. In the process, I stumbled across this devotion I wrote a while back, and it was so encouraging to me. It’s from Genesis 9:28. In the HCSB it says “Now Noah lived 350 years after the flood.”
Probably this is one of the scriptures that we all skip over because it doesn’t seem important, but I am convinced that every word in the Bible is there for a reason, and we just have ask God to show us what that reason is so we can benefit from it.
I noticed after reading this verse that a similar verse occurs for other people in the Bible. Genesis 5:4 tells us Adam lived 800 years after the birth of Seth. After defeating the Midianites, Gideon went and lived in his house (Judges 8:29). Job lived 140 years after all that he suffered (Job 42:16). And the apostle Paul lived 2 years in his own home after the events recorded in the book of Acts (Acts 28:30).
Now think about what these people had been through. Noah had lived through years of ridicule while he was building a boat to protect his family from rain no one thought was ever coming, then he survived the flood on a boat filled with animals and family. He started a new life as a vineyard farmer, then was drunk and naked in front of his children. But then he lived.
Adam lived through the first sin recorded and separation from the most perfect place on earth. He broke perfect fellowship with God. Suffered the death of a child at the hand of another child, then saw the birth of another son. Marriage. Loneliness. Hard work and pain. But then he lived.(Gen 5:4)
Gideon dealt with fear and being under the oppression of his enemies, then led his people into battle as the underdog and was put on a pedestal he didn’t even deserve by the people God used him to deliver. But then he lived. (Judges 8:29)
Job lost his health, his wealth, and his children. Then was restored double for his trouble. And then he lived. (Job 42:16)
Paul started out as a persecutor of Christians who even approves of the stoning of Stephen, then was struck blind to receive his call. He was thrown in prison, beaten. Mistrusted by the original disciples. He stood up to the government leaders. He was shipwrecked. Snake bitten. Constantly traveling and battling and praying and writing and teaching. And then he lived. (Acts 28:30).
The point is, they lived. It didn’t matter what they did or what they didn’t do. It didn’t matter who they were or who they hurt. It didn’t matter how their faith grew, or how it struggled. Regardless of how good or bad their pasts were, we read about seasons in their lives, but we read that then they lived.
Jesus said he came to give us life, and not just any life, but life more abundant. Life more abundant isn’t about perfect. It’s about persistence.
There is life beyond whatever you have experienced so far. But you have to CHOOSE life. Deuteronomy 30:19b tells us “…I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Choose life so that you and your descendants might live.” Whatever you have gone through, whether painful or beautiful, there is more for you. Don’t get caught up in the days past and what could have or should have been. The point is, whatever has happened is done. It’s over. You can’t change it. The glimpse of the lives we see written in the Bible are just that — a glimpse. The good the bad and the ugly— they’re all just a PART of the lives these people had. Not their whole lives.
So let people talk. They might know stories about you, but they don’t know your whole story. Noah had a story too. But then he lived.