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The Cloud of Witnesses

Former title Lessons From the People of the Bible



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Lesson 4: Noah – Stayed With The Vision Even Though It Took A Long Time


Genesis 7:1-10.

Stayed With The Vision Even Though It Took A Long Time

Imagine being Noah. God gives you a vision and expects you to carry it out. But the vision is huge. It is far greater than anything you have ever attempted before. Everyone thinks you are mad and assures you it can’t be done – and indeed, there is no reason for it anyway.

Noah was not that easily distracted, or ready to give up. He plodded on, regardless. However, the hard work continued day in day out, week in week out, month in month out, year in year out. The end must have seemed even further away halfway through the project as by then he was beginning to have a greater degree of understanding of how big the vision really was.

The ark was coming together so slowly. The ridicule and discouragement from neighbours, friends and antagonists would have increased by the day, let alone the month and year, and yet he kept his head down and carried on with the project.

I wonder when the full realisation hit him. Not only had he to build this massive ship but also find the animals to enter it. Normally a pair of everything but then 7 pairs of the clean animals, 7 pairs of birds and would you believe it – a pair of everything that crept on the face of the earth?

Most of us would have given up on the boat, those who completed the boat would have given up on trying to assemble all those animals but Noah then had to gather food for everyone to last the whole confinement.

It was not just the enormity of the task, that would have been exhausting enough; it was exacerbated by the whole thing taking so long to complete. I wonder how many times Noah had wanted to give up and put it all in the too-hard basket.

Have you ever asked yourself the question – why doesn’t God do it quickly? Indeed, maybe you have, like me, asked God why He takes so long to do something. I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s because I don’t see things the way God sees them, and He has a far bigger plan than I can ever conceive. Even the huge vision He gives me ends up being just a tiny part in His overall plan, which I am far too small to comprehend.

I’ve come to the conclusion that it all comes down to faith, trust and obedience. Usually I find issues further down the line that I’m glad had not been revealed to me earlier on. By the time I reach them, I’m usually in a better place to cope with them as I’ve learned to trust Him more in the meantime.

I’ve also had to learn that it is unwise to look at the circumstances as a means of testing whether or not I am in the will of God. With visions, I’ve found the circumstances nearly always seem to conspire to ‘prove’ to me the vision will never take place – but it is usually when I reach the other side that I realise God knew what He was doing all along; His promises never fail and His timing is always perfect.

Noah would say to us today...

Just because God gives you a vision doesn’t mean it is going to be completed overnight. Never forget there is always far more involved than what appears on the surface. Be determined to stay with the vision even though everything seems to conspire to make it impossible. Circumstances do not dictate the plans and purposes of God.


Father, I want in my heart to see the vision You have given me become a reality. Please help me to overcome the temptation to give in to the imposing circumstances before me; rather help me to keep my eyes focused on You and Your victory, seeing – by faith – its completion. In Jesus’ Name, I ask. Amen.

Additional readings

Habakkuk 2:3; Luke 13:31-35; Hebrews 12:1-13; Revelation 2:26-29.


What are the circumstances facing you today, which need to be ignored in order for you to realise the vision God has given you?

How long will you give God to complete your vision?

How do we stay focused and determined for the long haul?

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