Born on Christmas Day in 1642, Isaac Newton was one of the greatest geniuses in history. Besides being the inventor of calculus, Newton also discovered the laws of gravity and of motion, and performed important work in the areas of optics and mechanics. In short, Newton was brilliant! But, did you know that this brilliant man also was absent-minded?
Newton was known to lose his way while heading home for dinner, despite the fact that he lived at the college in which he worked. Friends of Newton would sometimes find themselves frustrated and thirsty when Newton would go to his room to get a bottle of wine for them to drink. “Why?” you ask. Well, when Newton arrived at his room, he would forget why he had gone there and instead would sit down to work, forgetting all about the friends who were eagerly awaiting his return with the wine. Newton truly was an example of an absent-minded professor, a person who possesses amazing knowledge but often forgets the simple, most fundamental things.
The God of heaven and earth is omniscient, He knows all things. His brilliance far surpasses that of Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, or any of the greatest minds of history. But God does not forget the simple things. He does not get so lost in lofty thoughts that He forgets the fundamental details. He does not forget His people when they are waiting on Him. Take Noah. Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, built an ark based on God’s instructions and then got into that ark, along with a menagerie that would make the Bronx Zoo envious, while outside it rained for forty days and forty nights. The resulting flood covered the entire earth, leaving Noah’s family and their floating zoo sailing the floodwaters for 150 days (Genesis 7: 24).
Now, I can imagine that a boat filled with up to seven pairs of every animal that walked the earth, plus any that were born to those pairs of animals, would have become uncomfortably smelly (and quite noisy!) after 150 days. I can also imagine that, after that amount of time, Noah and his brood had probably begun to think that God had forgotten all about them. I can imagine Noah looking up into the heavens and saying, “Hey, God, it’s Noah. Where are You? Have You forgotten about us?” But look what it says in Genesis 8:1…
But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and livestock with him in the boat. He sent a wind to blow across the earth, and the floodwaters began to recede.
God had not forgotten about them. He had not gotten so caught up in something else He was doing that He overlooked the needs of Noah, Noah’s family, and all of the animals who had joined them on this extended ocean cruise. God remembered and caused the waters to recede and, in time, they all left the boat and began life anew, being fruitful and multiplying the earth just as God told them they should (Genesis 9:1).
There are times in life when we may think that God has forgotten about us. Maybe it’s due to an extended illness. Maybe it’s because of a long period of unemployment. Or maybe it’s because we are in a dry season in which we are not sensing God’s presence in our lives. In those times, it may be easy for us to say “Hey, God, it’s me. Where are You? Have you forgotten about me?” In those times, we need to remember that, unlike Isaac Newton, God is not an absent-minded professor. We need to remember the story of Noah and remember that God never forgets. He is in every detail, and when the time is right, we will see Him move in our lives.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.