Watched Evan Almighty last night. Not bad. Of course, sequels are never live up to the original. But for some reason, in the middle of the one of the worst nights of my life, it became clear.
God gives the ark. That’s how you know.
Noah’s ark. Jonah’s whale-belly. The disciples’ boat. They all were out, living in the midst of a storm, a storm that God can control (as seen in the disciples’ boat example), but that’s not how God chooses to show us his love. He doesn’t get rid of storms, he gives us a place of comfort in it. The ark still endured the storm. Jonah still got tossed around. The disciples still got wet. But they were in the presence of a loving God that gave refuge, a sense of peace in the midst of that which could not be controlled.
A common theme to early civilizations (we’re talking pre-pre-anything. The time that the Pentateuch was written) was the idea of “toe-voo va boe-hoo” (that’s transliterated Hebrew. sorry, no hebrew font on this app, and I’m not sure i could remember how to spell it). The uncontrollable waters. The place where, if you upset the gods who lived there, you were sure to die. A place of refuge was necessary for life to continue.
So, when Jesus calmed the storm, that was a pretty big deal. When God “hovered above the waters”, also a big deal. God is bigger than that and is in control of all that.
So why doesn’t he just make nice waters all the time? Why the storms?
Because then we’d never enter the ark. We’d never need the presence of Jesus. We’d never reconsider that maybe we’re headed in the wrong direction (in the case of Jonah). We’d never see how good God truly is because we’d never recognize our need for him in the storms.
God doesn’t choose to give us bad things, storms. And they’re not outside of his control.
My favorite line from the movie last night was Morgan Freeman’s jaunt on opportunity. He said, “When someone prays for patience, does God just make you patient or does he give the opportunity to become a more patient person? Or when someone prays for the family to become closer, does He give you warm, happy feelings or the opportunity to do something together?”
When we cry out to God in the midst of a storm, does God take away the storm or give you the opportunity to find refuge in Him?
(I also have thoughts on the “knowledge of good and evil” and the curse. But that shall come later. )