(This first paragraph was originally posted on my Facebook page. I have expanded on it with new content for the blog.)
Genesis 7:10 - "And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth." In a recent morning devotional this verse jumped out at me. In the story of Noah's ark, God waits 7 days before he starts the rain. The animals have already been gathered 2 by 2 and stored in the ark. The doors have been closed. (It is unclear to me if Noah and his family are in the ark yet or not. They may get in just before the rains come.) Nevertheless, the ark is ready, everything is ready. And yet God decides to wait 7 days. Seven more days for people to mock Noah. Why does God do this? I have no idea. But what struck me is that He did it. Maybe for no other reason than to remind us that He is in control. His timing is not our timing. His timing is perfect. And if we have to wait 7 days or 7 years, then we have to wait. We may not know why. But we should trust God and wait. Noah did and it saved his whole family.
Two weeks have passed since I made this initial observation. After all of this time, what sticks with me about this Bible reading and post is the sentence "Seven more days for people to mock Noah." The Bible doesn't tell us in this chapter that people mocked Noah for building this huge boat for no apparent reason. At least no reason they could see. But knowing human nature, you can bet they were talking smack to him and behind his back.
As the parent of a special needs child I worry about my son being mocked. He already is he just is naive and doesn't realize it. Yet. As he gets older he will eventually figure out that the other kids are making fun of him for things he cannot control: his flailing hands (a common occurrence for autistic children), or his tendency to attempt to socialize by quoting obscure lines from movies and commercials. Now there is a new behavior to be concerned about. I spoke with the doctor about it last week. My son shakes his head uncontrollably. His therapist thinks it is a self-stimulating behavior. He is trying to meet a need in the only way he knows how. It is odd looking, if you don't know he has autism. I told the doctor that the head shaking behavior was not disruptive and if my son needed to do it to help soothe himself than I think we should let it continue. But we both acknowledged there may come a time in the near future when his classmates mock him for it at recess or in the library. And in another year it will dawn on him that they are laughing and pointing at him. When that happens it will break his heart, and mine too.
But Noah will be our model. He endured the mocking and persevered. Noah and his family did what God asked of them and were rewarded for it. If and when my son gets mocked for his autism I will remind him that Noah was also mocked. My son is not the only one who has faced this cruelty. My prayer is that it will help him to know that in this way he is not alone.