By God’s Side: September 9, 2020

Weekly Inspirational Reflections from the Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles

September 9, 2020

The Reverend Dr. John A. DallesOne of the most fascinating episodes in Genesis is the account of Noah, and the ark, and the animals that he collected, and the flood. There is so much in that story. Sometimes we overlook the fact that God gave Noah very clear instructions about how to build that ark. For instance, we read this in Genesis 6:16: “Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit high all around. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle, and upper decks.”

God made sure there was a door in the side of the ark. A door that one could open and close. A door for going in. A door for coming out. It strikes me that, in life, we have doors opening and closing all the time. We may feel just now that the door has closed on what we have always been used to, ever since March. The pandemic has made what was normal obsolete. I hear people talk about a “new normal,” even though they are not quite sure what that is going to be. It is sort of emerging.

We have stepped out of one reality and into another. And as we do that, maybe it is important to ask the question, “Where was God?”, in the midst of what was going on with Noah and the ark. Was God with them before the flood? During the flood? After the flood? Catastrophic though it was, I believe the answer to all those questions is, “Yes.” And if God was with them, then, we can count on God to be with us now – when doors open and close; and the rains fall; when the floodwaters rise. But also, when it stops raining; the sun comes out; and we can emerge into what is new. Let us have that confidence that we are by God’s side – no matter what.

The Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles
Interim Senior Pastor, Shadyside Presbyterian Church

About Dr. Dalles

Read more about Dr. Dalles.

Watch a brief video introducing a series of conversations with Dr. Dalles.

About By God’s Side

Shadyside Presbyterian Church publishes By God’s Side, a weekly series of inspirational reflections from the Reverend Dr. John A. Dalles, to support you in your spiritual journey. These pastoral messages appear in the blog section of the church website each week. (Our weekly e-newsletter includes an excerpt to remind you to read along with us regularly; click here to subscribe to the e-newsletter if you do not already receive it.) We hope this regular feature will help you to draw closer to God’s side in your life of faith.

Read more reflections by Dr. Dalles from By God’s Side.