Noah had spent 120 years preparing for one day— the day that the flood hit. But that climatic day had already come... and gone. What God had said would happen had come to pass. The waters of the flood had filled the earth. Over those first forty days, everything had been destroyed (Genesis 7:21-22). The waters had risen above even the highest mountains (Genesis 7:20), and only Noah's household survived (Genesis 7:23).
Judgment, it seemed, was complete. The violence of the pre-flood world had been put to an end. The goal, it seemed, was accomplished. But Noah was still waiting. He was still waiting in the same ark... with the same people... and with the same animals. Such an environment would test any man's patience.
In the midst of all the waiting, there were also plenty of things for Noah to worry about. Was there enough food? Was the boat strong enough? What would the post-flood world be like? Whatever the questions might have been, all the questions must have pointed Noah back to the truth that he was totally dependent upon God. It was only by God's grace that he was alive, and it would only be by God's grace that he would remain alive. Everything was ultimately under His control. He had told Noah that it would rain for forty days and forty nights (Genesis 7:4), and so it happened.
But while those forty days marked the end of the pre-flood world, they did not not mark the end of Noah's journey at sea. Noah had to wait for almost another year. And for the first five months of the flood, the water appeared as if it might never recede.
Noah's Patience (Part 2) - Genesis 7:24
Noah's Obedience - Genesis 6:22
Noah: Blameless In His Time - Genesis 6:9-10
Noah's Name: Its Meaning and Significance - Genesis 5:29
Evidence For A Global Flood: Only Noah's Household Survived - Genesis 7:23