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This Too Shall Pass

It has been said that life is lived forward and understood backward. So, if we want to understand how to cope with some of the things that most trouble us in life — and across the years — let us look back several thousand years. Let us look at scripture.

In the book of Genesis, Noah is told that a great flood is coming and to build an ark. But Noah is also told to put a window in the top of the ark. This is confusing because, with 40 days and 40 nights of rain, Noah doesn’t need a window to know it is raining.

That got me thinking.

In every life of every person, there will come a time, a season when there will be a flood of despair or failed plans or failed relationships or failed character. And when that season of anguish comes, we will all need an ark, some place where we can retreat, where we can hide, where we can go and do the work we still need to do. Some place to survive and recover.

So why the window? Well, like Noah, we don’t need a window to see that it is raining, but to see when the rain has stopped, to see that you have healed, to see that you are safe to come out of the ark and begin anew.

In all of our lives there are days, and sometimes seasons, when we know things are amiss. We all know days when we wake at dawn only to be in an emotional dusk. But whether we are suffering from addiction or an addiction to despair, what we must remember is that sadness is a season. And seasons pass.

Time and the events of time are tidal. There is an ebb and flow to all. So, if we need to get in out of the rain, we need to find an ark or build an ark. But remember this, and know it in your bones: You can survive, you can heal, and somewhere a dove with an olive branch is looking for a place to land in your life with a message of hope.

If you looked in the pocket of an 18th century man of wealth and position, you would find two pocket watches. Why two? Because pocket watches at that point in time were inclined to run down and stop. And you needed a back up watch to reset the first watch.

In all of our lives there comes a time when we will run out of the strength to continue, and we will need to stop and reset. It’s something we can help each other with.

Change is the only constant. No matter what season you are in your life, know it is also a season of change. Tides roll in. And out. And in. And we’re reminded, this too shall pass. The rain will always stop eventually. Ask Noah.

Noah Ben Shea
Noah benShea is one of North America’s most respected and beloved poet-philosophers. An international bestselling author of 23 books translated into 18 languages, his inspirational thoughts have appeared on more than 30 million Starbucks coffee cups, and his weekly columns on life were published for five years by The New York Times Regional Syndicate. In addition to his many other accomplishments, he serves as Philosopher in Residence for Foundations Recovery Network. Find out more HERE.