Imagine this, one day you are living your life, going about you daily tasks, and the next minute you are stuck inside with your family and you don’t know for how long.
Flashforward, it’s the year 2020… one day you’re out with your friends at your favourite café enjoying a warm cup of coffee and talking about the weekend you spent away with your family on a camping adventure.
You wake up the next day to learn that in two days’ time your entire country is going into lockdown for the next 4 weeks… where you are not allowed to leave your house unless it’s to get the essentials, get some fresh air locally, or if you’re an essential worker.
Well, apart from the added specifics; plot line one and plot line two are very similar. The only difference is plot line one, occurred hundreds of years ago, and instead of self-isolating in a house, Noah self-isolated with his family on an ark.
You see, whilst many of us at the moment are quarantined within our homes with loved ones, this situation as well as others has been seen through biblical times, albeit a little different, but still giving us a lot of food for thought.
Let’s start with the things that are making this time difficult. For us in NZ we have been told the lockdown is 4 weeks long, yet that’s not set in concrete, they may extend that.
Now four weeks of no time with friends and loved ones outside your home is a long time. It seems like a long time to be stuck in finding things to do when the rest of life seems to be halted. So what can we learn from Noah during this time?
Noah was 600 years old when they began their journey on the ark (Genesis chapter 7, verse 6). He was 601 when they got off the ark (Genesis chapter 8, verse 13). That’s a whole year stuck on a boat with just his family and a bunch of animals. How did he cope?!
Lessons from Noah
Here’s a few things we can learn from Noah’s version of lockdown:
#1 Posture of thankfulness
You see Noah hadn’t even been able to set foot on land for over a year, let alone go out with friends, go shopping for food or anything. They were confined to the ark. Yet they were thankful that God had saved them, provided for them and was taking them towards His promises.
#2 Obedience to God
Noah was obedient to the plans God had, and the situation. He didn’t try to get off the ark earlier than what God had planned or instructed him.
#3 Make the most of the situation and was resourceful
Noah didn’t just lie in bed all day, he as resourceful, he sent the doves out to test if the waters had receded, he built the ark, no doubt they would have had to have had food in sorted in some description. Noah kept searching for God during this.
So for us, we have a lot more to be thankful for. Time to spend with loved ones, access to food, medicine, water and shelter; thankful that we love people enough to miss them during time apart, and of course access to technology that allows us to stay connected.
However, it allows calls us to be obedient. 1 Peter chapter 2, verses 13 to 15 encourages us to respect governing authorities; that means respecting the laws and boundaries that they have put in place during this time. By honouring them, we are honouring God and each other.
Lastly, we are called to be resourceful during this time, not resort to gluttony but to occupy our time with things that help us be better, help us to serve others, and too build better relationships.
So whilst we are in self isolation, let’s remember we are physical distancing, but working to build social connection through other means. Be grateful for this season of pause, take it to reflect, to grow closer to those you love and to pray for the changing world around us.
Araina Kazia Pereira from Wellington, New Zealand is a published writer having written for various outlets and most recently joining as a Press Service International young writer. She enjoys asking the big questions and writing about the challenging questions that she has wrestled with in her own journey, as well as her learnings along the way. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.