More Than You Know

“When Lamech had lived 182 years, he had a son. He named him Noah and said, ‘He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed.’” – Genesis 5:28-29

I dream about the day when my children can do more chores around the house.  They have jobs now but, generally speaking, those jobs are more about getting them in the habit of contributing than they are about actually completing a task.

I wonder if this is similar to the thinking of Noah’s father, Lamech, when he named his son.  The name Noah means, “rest” or “repose”.  This, combined with the blessing spoken over Noah at his birth, seems to indicate that Lamech was ready to take a break and hand the heavy lifting over to someone else.

Yet in this blessing Lamech makes an interesting call back.  When he mentions that the ground is cursed, he is doing more than complaining about the soil, he is referring to when God cursed the ground because of the fall of Adam and Eve (3:17).  There is a hint here that, through Noah, God would bring relief from cursedness that was greater than imagined.

I have often wondered how we might move through our days if we fully understood the positive impact we have on others.  How would it change you to know the full ripple effect of your acts of encouragement, your words of affirmation, or your gifts of kindness?  If we understood the power we had to bless others, would we be more lavish with our blessings?

When the Bible praises Noah as an adult it says he was a “righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God” (6:9).  This is another way of saying that he treated people with equity, respect, and humility.  It is saying he interacted with others as though they were children of God.  Noah rode upon the waters that washed the cursed ground, not because he was smart or lucky or strong but, because he was faithful.  His was a faithfulness brought to life, not just during the rain and storm but, in the everyday.

Jane Goodall once wrote, “You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”  God created the world to be a place of interconnected relationships.  It is by design that our lives touch and shape and bless all forms of life.

So today, may God bring refreshment and renewal through us to the lives of those around us.