Starting With a Grateful Heart 

Noah had taken on a huge assignment with his construction of the ark. He then cared for all of the animals on the boat, as he watched the world around him overtaken by a flood that raged with death and destruction. His whole life was forever changed. Everyone he had known was dead. He and his family had to start over from square one with building homes, planting crops, and breeding livestock. But before all of those things, Noah had something more important to do. The first thing he did after he and his family came out of the ark, was build an altar to The Lord and sacrifice offerings on it. Noah was not only faithful enough to follow all that God commanded him to do, but he was showing God that he was completely devoted to him.
Even after the hard times he had just endured, Noah focused on the fact that God was the one who had brought him through the storm. God had blessed him by sparing his life and the lives of his family, and by giving them all the chance at a new beginning. Noah couldn’t do another thing before stopping to honor God and show him how thankful he was.

And God was pleased.

In today’s world, we don’t commonly offer sacrifices, but we can respect and honor God, and show him our thankfulness and devotion by praying, praising, and worship.

A lot of times, it is easy to ask God for help before going into an important situation, or to reach out to Him while going through hard times, and even to thank him when things go successfully. But how often do I stop what I am doing, put everything else aside, and have a conversation between him and me, regardless of the outcome, just to say, “Hey, I know you were with me through that and I couldn’t have made it without out. Thank you so much!” How often do I have a grateful heart when I’m not satisfied with how things ended?

I have to admit that I honestly have not had that reaction EVER after going through a time of suffering. In the past, I have been too focused on the things that I’ve lost and the pain that I was experiencing because of it. When in reality, I only survived those events because God was with me every step of the way, giving me the strength and abilities that I needed, and surrounding me with people who loved and supported me. I am not proud of the way that I have dealt with certain situations in my life. And I am sure that God was not pleased with my response. Looking deeper into the story of Noah, and specifically this passage, has truly opened my eyes to this failure on my part, and I’m pretty sure that HE knew this day would come. And maybe THAT pleases Him.
When I feel my life changing beyond my control and I don’t like the end results, I will pray:

Lord, Thank You for staying by my side and guiding me through this situation. I know that I could not have endured it alone. I don’t love these circumstances, but I love You, and I will praise You in the aftermath of this storm. I know that you have a plan for me, even if I can’t understand it right now. I will continue to serve You and try to find the good that can come out of this situation. 

Amen