Contemporary English Version (CEV)
Not a bad adventure for a 600 year old, right?
Whenever I see this depicted by artists, it usually is a beautiful, serene setting where the trees are blooming and the sun is shining and the animals peacefully wander off.
These artists have clearly never seen the aftereffects of a flood.
It's unlikely that everything would have been perfect, that the trees would have weathered the months of flooding well. There would have been mud everywhere. The animals would probably rush in a mad dash to get away from the ark (and the tigers and lions and other carnivorous creatures!).
In short, the conclusion to this story may not have been as picturesque as we imagine it.
But life is like that, isn't it? Even when we endure a trial, it's usually tough to recover, and it takes time. We wait. We heal. We remember what we have gone through, and we're grateful to have endured it, and the process to put our lives back together is long and complex, and it's often not easy. To do this on our own is extra challenging.
So we, as the community of believers who love one another, need to rally around those who are going through trials and think about how best to support them. We care for one another, pray for one another, feed one another. We think not of ourselves, but how our resources can best serve the community. We humbly submit ourselves to serve, to wash one another's feet, to cheer and encourage one another.
It's exhausting at times. It is demanding. But the Lord has charged us to care for one another in such a way that the early church community attracted believers through the radical, selfless love they demonstrated for one another.
May we love as richly.