The Sweet Little Dove
Here’s the truth …
In my quiet time this morning, I was reading once again about Noah’s Ark. When you take time to read this story and let God speak to your heart, it is quite amazing all the little gems that are hidden here. God's Word is so wonderful! It doesn’t matter how many times you read something, you will be taught new and wonderful things that God reveals to your heart. I'm not talking about “new revelations of Scripture” but new lessons that have been there that He is now revealing to your heart as you are learning and growing in the knowledge of Him.
This morning, God showed me something brand new that I had not seen before. I have heard the story of Noah and the ark probably hundreds of times, but today, there was one verse that specifically caught my attention, and I think it is one of the sweetest verses in the Bible.
In Genesis 8, we see that the flood had encompassed the whole earth. Finally, it had stopped raining. As Noah floated along in the ark, taking care of the animals, he waited for dry land to appear. How long would that take? I’m sure to Noah, it seemed like an eternity. He had been tossed and turned about for 40 days. Where was he? Was he near where he used to live? When dry land did appear, what would he find there? Would there be food for him, his family, and all the animals? So many questions and so much uncertainty in Noah’s mind.
But to God, there was no uncertainty. He knew exactly where Noah was, what was going on, and where the ark would finally come to rest on dry land. All of this was planned by God.
In the middle of all of this wondering, Noah decided to send forth a small dove through the window of the ark, to see if the dove could find anywhere to land that was dry. It is then that we see this this sweet little verse: “But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark, for the waters were on the face of the earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark” (Genesis 8:9 KJV).
I see three precious things in this verse. First, the dove reminds me of myself. There are so many times when I go through my day, leaving the “ark” behind, trying to “do it all,” getting tossed about in the sea of busyness, and I find no rest. I get tired, cranky, and irritable because I am trying to do everything in my own power. It is only in returning unto Him (my gracious God) that I find rest and strength. It takes surrendering to God and letting Him be in control.
The second thing I see here is that when the dove returned to the ark, all worn out and tired, what did Noah do? I love this! “Then he put forth his hand, and took her and pulled her in unto him into the ark.” Isn’t that a beautiful picture of God? When we come back to Him, after wandering around in the world, trying to do everything in our own strength, He is right there putting forth His hand, drawing us unto Himself, into the safety of His ark. He is waiting for us to return, and when we do, He pulls us unto Himself. It brings tears to my eyes thinking of the great love my Lord has for me. He doesn't ever give up on me. I know that He is always there, ready to draw me close.
Thirdly, I see that this dove had a choice. She could have kept flying around, determined to find somewhere to land, only to become exhausted and possibly succumb to the flood waters, or she could return to the ark for her safety and refuge. As she was flying around the waters, trying to find land, she could still see the ark, sitting on top of the waters. Like her, we too will see that when we rise above the flood waters of life, we will see our “ark of safety” sitting on top of the waters, beckoning us to come and find rest. Just like God used the ark to preserve the lives of Noah and his family, God also preserves our lives, when we confess our sins, and let Him be Lord and Saviour of our lives. The ark is a picture, a hidden gem, of our great God, Who is our Shelter and Preserver of Life. King David knew this to be true when He wrote, “For thou has been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. I will abide in Thy tabernacle forever: I will trust in the covert of Thy wings. Selah” (Psalm 61:3-4 KJV).
What a beautiful picture of Christ’s love and provision for us. Like the dove, we have the same choices today. Are we going to return to the ark or keep flying around in our own power, trying to find rest? Isn’t it time we surrender ourselves, rise above the flood waters of life and find our strength in the only One Who can do this.
Jesus said, in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come unto Me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall fined rest unto your souls. For My yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (KJV).
It’s that simple. Come to Jesus. He is ready to forgive and waiting to draw you unto Himself.