Something I've known but don't always quite understand is that there are often themes in Scripture when it comes to numbers. Seven is probably the most common number in the Bible...there are 12 tribes of Israel and 12 disciples...and here we see that when Noah was in the ark it rained for "forty days and forty nights" and when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness he fasted for "forty days and forty nights."
This strikes me as significant and I wonder why it is significant. These two instances seem significant enough but there are also so many other occurrances of the number 40. For example, the Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years.
I could speculate about how it seems like most of these are during seasons of waiting or I could look up other theories...but for now I think what speaks to me is that this is how God works at all. He is not random. He is precise, He is a planner, He works in patterns.
We were talking lately about the Star of Bethlehem documentary and how seemingly obvious it sounds but how amazing this really is: God created the stars, the patterns, and when He created the universe He created it in such a way that He knew the Star of Bethlehem would appear at just the right moment for Jesus Christ to be born.
In all my time journalling over the years one of my favorite things is to see patterns. I love to see the way time passes and to think "on this day when I prayed God knew 3 years from now this would happen."
He is systematic but in the most real and unexpected ways. To us it may look chaotic, but every once in a while we get a glimpse and we can know: He has thought this through.