Award-winning Publishers Weekly Best-selling Author

A Hammer, Nails, and Cypress Wood

by | Oct 1, 2012 | , | Still True Today | 8 comments

Nathan wiped the sweat from his wrinkled forehead. He’d been at his project since dawn and the heat from the noonday sun had started to take its toll. He grabbed his water bottle and took a swig. A snicker from behind caused him to spill some down his shirt.

His neighbor stood at the edge of Nathan’s property, arms crossed. “What are you doing?”

Nathan grabbed his shovel. “Building a tornado shelter.”

“Are you nuts? We don’t get tornadoes in our neck of the woods!” He shook his head. “Why in the world would you build one?”

“God told me to.

His neighbor threw his head back and laughed. “You’re a strange duck, old man.”

Others gathered and watched from a distance.

“Did you hear what our crazy neighbor said? God told him to build a tornado shelter.

The crowd laughed.

“You should all do the same,” Nathan said. “The tornadoes will be a category 5. Total devastation. Bring everything you can into your shelter so we can rebuild.”

“You’re weird,” one said. Another threw an apple and yelled, “Religious freak.” They laughed again.

Thrusting the shovel into the dirt, Nathan sighed at the snickers and ignored them. He only had a few days before the storm would hit. He needed to finish on time.

Why won’t they listen?

You’ll be sorry.

The story of Noah and the ark always caught my attention as a little girl. Could it be possible to put that many animals into an ark? Seriously? And why save the snakes and spiders? Like Indy, I hate snakes! 🙂

This is probably one of the most popular stories of the Old Testament. Some sneer at it. Others shake their heads. Was Noah crazy?

We all know he wasn’t. The flood did come. The heavens opened and torrential downpours flooded the earth, killing everything and everyone in its path. Only Noah, his family, and the animals in the ark were saved.

His neighbors refused to listen and died. In the end they knew Noah was right.

What can we learn from Noah and the Ark in our modern-day society? Plenty. I’ll highlight a few.

Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. The world had grown dark. God was discouraged by His creations. Wickedness ran rampant throughout the land. However, God found favor in Noah—a man living a life of obedience. God picked this 600 year-old man to fulfill a mission. How are we living our lives?

Noah listened. He heard God speak to him. He wasn’t too busy to listen to the still small voice of God. Yes, life was much different back then. Not as hectic. They didn’t have TV’s, cell phones, computers, etc. They probably weren’t stretched in ten different ways, but Noah could have sneered at God. He could have clamped his hands over his ears and said, “Blah, blah. I don’t hear you.” But no, he didn’t. He heard loud and clear. Is there something God is telling you? Why are we always too busy to listen?

Noah not only heard, he obeyed. Once Noah understood God, he thrust himself into building an ark. Taking his hammer, nails, and cypress wood, he got right to it. He didn’t waver. How many times have we heard God but failed to obey? Perhaps you felt lead to make a meal for someone but you got too busy. We all make excuses as to why we don’t do what we feel God is telling us. We have too much to do. We’re not capable. They’ll laugh at us. I know I’ve failed in this area. It’s extremely difficult to step out of our comfort zones and act in faith. We feel safe where we are. Let’s make a pact together and obey!

Noah didn’t care what others thought. I’m sure Noah’s neighbors called him a crazy old man too like Nathan in my story above. The land was dry. Was it really going to rain that hard? He didn’t care what they thought. He knew he had to obey. This is a hard one. We all care what others think of us, don’t we? We live in a society where everyone wants to be loved. Doing something crazy like building an ark is just plain weird. Our friends and neighbors would abandon us if we did something that nuts. Why do we care when we’re absolutely sure God is telling us something? Ignore the sneers and just do it.

Noah trusted. After every nail was hammered into the wood, do you wonder if Noah doubted? The skies were clear—not a cloud in sight. How could it rain in such a dry land? However, Noah trusted God would be true to His word. He kept on hammering. Have you felt lead to do something and then you couldn’t see the light at the end of that proverbial tunnel? You wonder if what you thought you heard was right? Doubts seep in. It’s hard to let go and simply trust. We’ve all been there. We need to follow Noah’s example and trust with our whole hearts.

The story of Noah’s Ark can teach us so much. Are we ready to listen? What is God telling you to do?

Listen and do it no matter what others may think.

Do you have a story where you heard what God was telling you, but others laughed at you? What happened? Did you listen? Share it with us so we can be encouraged.

Genesis 7:11-12 (NIV)

In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, on the seventeenth day of the second month—on that day all the springs of the great deep burst forth, and the floodgates of the heavens were opened. And rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.

Noah Found Grace in the Eyes of the Lord – Statler Brothers

I’ve always loved this song. I picked the Statler Brothers’ version because my parents loved their music. Even if you’re not a country gospel fan, you can’t help put tap your toes on this song! You might even want to clap along. 🙂 Enjoy.


  1. susan steeves

    This is a great modern day version of how following the Lord’s voice can cause others to mock! Trusting the Lord!!! Thanks I needed to be reminded of this. Love Ya

    • Darlene L. Turner

      Thanks. As you know, there are definitely times when trusting is SO hard! xo

  2. Marcy Kennedy

    I needed this message today, and I really appreciate how you brought the story of Noah into a new light by giving it the modern interpretation of a tornado shelter.

    • Darlene L. Turner

      Hi Marcy! Thanks for your comment. I’m having fun trying to come up with modern-day stories to parallel with the biblical stories. Glad you liked it.

  3. Diane Spearing

    I know this sound so repetitive but I am so thankful for you and your blogs…. You truly are my angel

    • Darlene L. Turner

      Thanks Diane! I appreciate you following my blog so faithfully! xo

  4. Heather

    Trust and obey, He knows. Thanks Dar.


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