The Patience of Noah

The word is translated “long suffering” in some versions. Patience, it’s something we joke about. Something everyone says they need more of. Something that you’ll hear people warn you, “Don’t pray for patience or you’ll get plenty of opportunities for using it!”

We often hear of “the patience of Job,” but have you ever thought about the patience of Noah?

Noah followed some incredible instructions to build something no person had ever seen: a massive ship, an ark of safety. He worked on that for more than a century (one hundred twenty years) while enduring insult and ridicule, without seeing anyone respond to God’s truth and grace.

But that was just one portion of patience.

When the flood actually broke loose, and earth’s foundations began to collapse, Noah’s family was tucked safely in the ark for a long, long forty day and night rain siege. After the rain stopped, there was still one hundred fifty days of floating across a vast limitless sea. No land in sight; only an immeasurable expanse of waves and sky. A globe of water hung in space, with one ship, containing the family and animals that would repopulate the earth, traveling the water’s surface.

Do you think Noah felt lonely? Fearful? Like God had forgotten him and his family?

No way had God forgotten him. Look at how Genesis chapter eight opens:

[box]“But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark.”[/box]

The phrase “God remembered” doesn’t imply that God had forgotten Noah at all, but is an expression of endearment. It’s the language of God’s devotion to those He loves. It’s the same phrase used when God responded to the tears of a barren woman crying out to Him for a child. God remembered, but He had never forgotten.

This is Divine compassion at work.

Nine months after their journey began, the ark came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. And Noah and his family waited. They would continue to wait forty days before Noah would send out his first scout—a raven in flight—to investigate (Genesis 8:6–7). And still they waited. Then three times, at seven-day intervals, Noah sent out a dove with the hope that it would bring back evidence that the land was dry enough for them to exit the ark. After the dove returned to Noah with a freshly plucked olive leaf—imagine the excitement and hope that the family must have experienced!

But they would continue to wait two more months before God would give the instructions to leave the ark.

Bible commentators differ a smidge on the exact number of days that Noah and his family made the ark their home (along with an entire zoo full of animals), but when you add up the 40 days of rain, 150 days of floating the globe, 99 days of water “subsiding” until the ark rests, and then 40 days before sending the raven, 21 days for all three dove trips, plus the long wait for the instructions to leave the ark, Barnes’ Bible Commentary gives us 365 days as the total time Noah spent on the ark.

When you think about the 120 years leading up to the flood, when Noah was busy preparing for this cataclysmic event, the year on the ark is just a small slice of that. Noah must’ve learned patience. And the first thing he does when he leaves the confinement of the ark, is to present sacrifices and offerings of worship to God.

Read how he’s presented in the hall of faith:

[box]By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith (Hebrews 11:7).[/box]

This man of faith, lived in reverent (worshipful) fear (awe) of the Almighty God he served, and he was patient. He waited.

We’re in a waiting season now and it’s helpful to be reminded of the faithfulness and patience of God-fearing men and women who’ve gone before us, and especially to focus on the goodness of God to “remember” those He loves.

This week we’re in Dallas for more appointments with LeRoy’s Neurology team. Thank you all for praying for our appointment with the infusion doctor last week, I’m sorry I’m just now giving you an update on that.

The update is: we wait. 

There will be another delay in treatment, our application for the free drug program was approved in 2017, but we learned that it has to be resubmitted for 2018. That was disappointing, but thankfully this infusion center is working with us to get that process in the works and hopefully, LeRoy can get his first infusion in two weeks.

We are trusting that the delay is God’s perfect timing for reasons that He knows is best, but I’m concerned for my dear husband. He’s getting weaker and less mobile, plus the continued pain is so hard. But he continues to trust His faithful Father. He’s a man who walks with God.

That’s the description we have of Noah. What an honor it would be to have Scripture describe you this way:

[box]“These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.” (Genesis 6:9)[/box]

Noah walked with God. And God used his steadfast patience to rescue his family and the animal kingdom. God used Noah to provide a picture of our ark of safety that would come: the gospel rescue mission through the work of Christ on the cross—our ark of safety.

What a Savior! That’s Who we’re trusting in as we wait.

LeRoy and I are extremely grateful for your faithfulness to intercede for us, we can’t begin to express how very much that means to us! Even though this is a long, hard season, God continues to show up in tender and faith-affirming ways. And the comments you leave here are some of those sweet expressions of care that remind us of God’s faithfulness. Thank you.

Photo by Jasper van der Meij on Unsplash


  • Vicki Bedford

    Thank you for the update, Kim, as well as the reminder and thoughts about Noah’s patience and faithfulness. What a great reminder to “fix our eyes on Jesus” and not on overwhelming circumstances. Still praying for you and LeRoy in this journey. Thankful you know that God is faithful. Asking Him for strength and mercy in this season.

  • Alrica (South Africa)

    We praise God for His love and faithfulness in your lives. May you keep trusting Him! His Word is true! He who has promised is faithful to fulfill his promises Heb10:23

  • Tammy Henderson

    Praying for you and your Husband! I’m reading your book Fierce Women, I believe the Lord is using this to restore my marriage and make it an example of how Christ loved His Bride, the church!! It has helped me So Much I am going to buy it for a few friends of mine also! Thank You so Much for you Faithful Service!🙏

  • Heidi

    I can not begin to describe how I am encouraged by your posts. I am reading this while sitting next to my sick dad in the hospital. Your words encourage me to pursue God’s comfort and peace during this difficult time. And to trust Him because He is trustworthy. Praying for you.

  • Bonnie Lang

    Praises for your tenancy and perseverance. Like Noah, you are floating above your circumstances and Giod will rescue you from these deep waters and set your feet back on the mountain top. We pray continually for all the red tape to be cut and treatment to begin soon. Keep swimming up that stream. May God strengthen you both in the process.
    Love you dearly.

  • Kristy Fuss

    These blog posts and the trials you are going through continue to encourage us in this period of waiting in our lives. It is such a blessing to our family to lift you and Leroy up to the Lord Most High. He is with you. He will not leave you. What a mighty God we serve! Love you, sister!

  • Renee

    My prayers continue to be with you and your husband. I really encourage you to look at Nrf2 at I don’t know about his specific condition, but I do know this natural product is a scientific breakthrough that reduces inflammation by 40% in 30 days and up to 70% in 120 days. This may give your husband relief from his pain. It has helped me tremendously with the pain of the chronic illnesses I have. I would love to share more with you. I wouldn’t be telling you about this, if I didn’t think it could help. It has 23 peer reviewed studies in, as well as the American Heart Association and National Institute of Aging. So it’s not a “snake oil” product. Praying this would be an answer for you! Blessings!

  • Sydel Perez

    Praying and hoping that His Love and grace fills your hearts more and more very day so that this trial leaves you with a even greater weight of Glory.
    Thank you for sharing your sincere and warm heart with us, you have spoken words that have impacted my life in a extraordinary and supernatural way, again thank you!

  • Carolina

    You certainly have been an instrument of blessing in my life’s and marriage trough your book. I pray God continues using you trough these difficult circumstances and that his power and glory will be evident to many trough your husbands road to full healing. Blessings from Switzerland!!

  • Kim

    Thank you for the update Kim. Enjoyed reading about the patience of Noah. This was very encouraging for me. We are continuing to pray for LeRoy’s healing and your endurance as his caregiver during this season.

  • Glenda Mclearen

    Kim and Leroy – many prayers are lifted up for you both – for strength, endurance, and for healing. We know the Father and know He hears our cries and sees (and keeps) our tears. May your faith be increased. My favorite two words in scripture – “but God” ….rest in Him.

  • Annette

    Thank you for your transparency and faithful sharing, you are both such an encouragement, in spite of your circumstance! Continued prayers for the 2 of you and your family!