Rain, Rain, Go Away
In my classroom, filled with little people and big personalities, we just ended a unit in Bible about Noah and the Ark. As I prepared to teach the unit, I decided to really give some thought as to why I think this unit is important for preschoolers.
The obvious answer is that it’s pretty fun! What 3-year-old doesn’t love animals, rainbows, and the “Rain, rain, go away” rhyme?
The more complex answer is that, besides being part of the Bible, it is inherently a story of obedience.
Obedience is a tough one to tackle. For starters, our culture tends to lean more and more toward the sentiment of “do whatever makes you happy” rather than “do whatever is right.” Secondly, obedience isn’t always fun. Am I right?
I remember when one of our girls (okay, the one who makes all the yummy pastries!) got in trouble at school for the very first time. She was a happy 4-year-old, full of life, but mostly well-behaved and she certainly knew that our expectation was that she listen to her teachers.
On one particularly rainy, South Florida day, her teacher greeted me at the door at dismissal time. She oh-so-kindly let me know that my child would not be receiving her little green day medal because she disobeyed.
Of course, I was appalled. (You know how it is, especially with the first child. You just so badly want to believe that your child is perfect?!). “What happened?”, I asked?
Come to find out, the rain puddles were just too tempting and too exciting on the walk back from lunch. I had to hide my smile.
Tell me what 4-year-old doesn’t love rain puddles?
We went home with a reminder to always obey the teacher. And a wet, muddy, adorable little not-so-white ruffled sock and a dirty Mary Jane shoe.
The point? Obeying was not the fun thing. Stomping in the puddle brought immediate joy and giggles.
As I’ve been teaching about Noah over the past couple of weeks, it has made me reflect on a couple of things:
- What. A. Mess. To put it mildly, building the ark was complicated, disheartening, humiliating at times. Once in the ark, it must have felt so dark. Damp. Dirty. Noisy. No fun at all.
- It was a loooooong time. Noah was waiting with no end in sight. To our knowledge, he had no idea how long it would take for all of that water to dissipate or how long before he and his family could set their feet on dry land.
I’m a schedule kind of person. I also know I can endure things better when I know how long the waiting will be.
Noah had no idea.
What he did know, and what we now know is this:
“Noah did everything the Lord commanded of him.”
I’ve always been a fairly obedient person. I don’t like to be in trouble, I like to follow the rules. I don’t consider it my calling in life to be the one who “shakes things up.”
Obeying…in the waiting…is a whole different ballgame.
Having faith to obey in the waiting isn’t easy.
Having hope while obeying in the waiting and being content at the same time are equally difficult.
But as I’ve told the story of Noah and the Ark to my little class, I have been reminded over and over of the significance of obedience. Noah’s obedience and God’s faithfulness to keep His promises literally changed the world.
Obedience isn’t always easy but it is always worth it. Integrity and doing the right thing…”even when no one is watching”, as our kids say…is always worth it.
You may be in a season where obedience is easy. But you may find yourself in a season where obedience is complicated and disheartening, just as Noah was. It may be a time that is full of questions and even frustrations.
Whatever your ark is in this season of life, I pray that you and I build, wait, hope, and trust with unwavering confidence. Content in His faithfulness.
“But this I call to mind and therefore I have hope. The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end. They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness.”
Much love from our nest.