By Bonnie Lyn Smith
A few years ago my youngest son’s Noah’s Ark Christmas ornament started to fall apart. First the tiny resin giraffe fell off; then a zebra cracked. Before I knew it, the ark itself was losing its hook for the tree and crumbling away paint. If Noah showed up at my door and asked me to get on a life-sized replica of that thing in that condition, you can be sure I’d probably turn him down!
But I would be wrong.
God had a very specific plan for the vessel He had Noah build. He had clear specifications and measurements. This was not a haphazard, last-minute throwing together of a few pieces of gopherwood. According to biblical scholar Bodie Hodge, it took 55 to 75 years to build the ark! When was the last time we had a project that long-term?
So what about us, then? What about these broken arks we ride around in—our flesh? These bodies that fail over the course of a lifetime? These sinning hearts? Sometimes we may feel as though everything is falling off our decks, one by one, and that we are popping holes all over the place, letting the water in that will eventually sink us.
I don’t know about you, but there are times I feel like all I do is dam up the broken places, looking at my life reflecting back at me and seeing baseboards that need polishing and foundations that have weakened over time.
The good news of Christmas is that a baby Savior came to make our arks like new. We still have to ride around in them this side of heaven, but when we commit these “temples of the Holy Spirit” to Jesus, we know they will see us through to the end.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”
In Judges 6:12, the angel of the LORD (Jesus) called a man hiding from his plundering enemy in a winepress threshing grain “a mighty man of valor.” From the outside of his “ark,” in his current posture of fear, that is the last thing we would have called Gideon—or he would have considered himself. And yet God called it into being, and it was so.
If we struggle to believe that God can use these broken arks of ours, let us finally look to Jesus. Human, dying, broken, bleeding flesh, manger-born among farm animals. Humble and lowly. And yet God sent His Son and declared Him our Savior!
And He told us we were a new creation if we placed our trust in Christ.
…assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.Others may see our brokenness at times, but do they see Jesus?
So don’t dismiss your cracks and worn places. Give them to Jesus. Our purposes were planned by God from the beginning of time.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Our arks are made new in Christ, and when people see us rise up from our positions of fear and weakness, trusting in a mighty God who says we are “mighty men of valor” because of Him and in His name, we show a darkened world that broken arks still travel and are lifted up to glorify an infant born to earth to become a Mighty King and Savior of the world!
This Christmas, I say, despite the condition He may find us in, let’s all respond eagerly: “Yes , sweet Jesus: Have ark. Will travel!”