“Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground.” (Genesis 8:8)
We all have seasons in our life that can be described as “winter.” Perhaps you are wondering if you will ever recover from a surgery you have had, Maybe you are feeling the effects of your illness in your marriage relationship. Or, are you just so tired of dealing with your disease and longing for life pre-illness?
We all need hope that our future will hold something beyond what we are experiencing now. And, as believers, we can cling to this, because even if the worst case scenario happens and our situation doesn’t improve, we can have peace that it will be dramatically improved when we get to heaven. No one can take our hope of heaven away.
Noah had hope that God’s promise would be fulfilled. He spent years building the ark and then saw the entire earth flooded. Water, water. . . everywhere!
Was Noah nervous? Did he think–as I have during difficult times–God hasn’t brought us this far to abandon us now? If I was Noah, I would have been lying awake on a palette at 3 AM wondering if my sons had skipped any steps in my “How to Build An Ark” instructions. Would it hold? What would happen if we sprung a leak? How muddy would the earth be when land appeared? What if we ran our of food before the earth could be replanted?
But he sent out a dove. When it returned without vegetation, he knew water still covered the earth, So he waited seven days. I am sure he wanted to send it out sooner than that and maybe his sons even nudged him on. “C’mon, Dad, we’re sick of this boat and tired of smelling all these animals!” But he patiently waited, and then sent out the dove again, and then a third time, a week after that.
Have you sent out a dove recently in your life? We can have hope, but we also must act on it! That doesn’t mean we have to push our way onto someone or force a situation. But, as you have prayed for something, and waited to see what God would do, have you sent out a dove?
Your dove may be a little note for your spouse to find, or picking up the phone to call someone you need to forgive. It may be making an appointment with a counselor as you see your relationships flailing due to your short temper. It may be going to a new church or trying a new doctor.
God is working in your life, regardless of your actions, but put your hope into action by opening up the opportunity to see what He has done by sending out your dove.
Prayer: God, sometimes I ask for things in prayer and then wait and wait and wait. Help me know the difference between patience and apathy when waiting for your answer. Show me ways I can “send out a dove” to see how You are working. Amen,
About the author:
Lisa Copen is the founder of Rest Ministries and she lives in San Diego with her husband and son. She is gradually learning how to balance motherhood, family, illness, and ministry, but she still knows it will be a lifetime lesson. You can see the books she has written, including, Why Can’t I Make People Understand? at the Rest Ministries shop.
When you think back over times you put your hope in action and sent out a dove, what comes to mind? Is there something you can share about how you plan to send out a dove this week?