Genesis 7:8 Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. 9 But the dove could find no place to set its feet because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. 10 He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. 11 When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. 12 He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.


My Olive Leaf

With waters rising all around today.

Hope and despair are in a raging battle as I bow my head to pray.

I feel as if I am in a  tiny boat  well worn from  high water and gusty winds.

I feel I have no oar, nor strength, to paddle as water comes rushing in.

I ask God why did He allow things to turn out this way.

I, tired and weary, ask God did He hear the prayer I prayed yesterday.

I remember the days of Noah and the ark which kept him safe and dry.

I remember his faith, but feel my own wavering no matter how hard I try.

I think of Noah's happy ending, but still worry about tomorrow.

Did God bring me this far  to only let me sink in sorrow?

As I think these thoughts of dread and despair,

As I wonder does  God or anyone care,

I wonder how tired Noah was after 150 days afloat.

I wonder how sick and tired he  must have gotten of his boat.

Then, I think of Noah's  dove who carried an olive leaf long ago.

The dove who seemed to quitely speak for God,  "Noah, I told you so."

Today I prayed to God yet another time.

I guess I kind of asked, "God where is my sign?"

Where is my white dove carrying my leaf of green?

What have happened to promises of all the  things I have not yet seen?

As suddenly as I prayed the prayer a call came in on my phone.

No, God didn't call, but He showed me my promises were not gone.

The call gave me renewed hope of receding waters and life anew.

The call reminded me not to give up whatever I do.

Yes, God sent a dove with my olive leaf today.

The tiny green leaf showed me promises of newness for which I pray.

My olive leaf reminded me my faith is as close as simply  opening a door,

And allowing a dove who carried my  olive leaf to fly free, returning no more.

jbp

 
Running Blindly
 
Today I watched my son's blind bulldog run head first into a parked car. Even though the dog is familiar with her surroundings, the car was parked in an unexpected place.  The dog has been blind for  a couple of years now. There were electrical wires under a house.  She bit into them, survived, but lost her eyesight.  After she hit the car head first, she gracefully backed away and searched carefully until she found a safe clear path to my house.
 
My son and his family moved away, but left the dog behind because they feared she would have trouble finding her way around in a new place.  Sometime I think of the blind dog. now abandoned and find myself in tears. Silly?  I just feel sorry for the dog and hope I never find myself  stumbling over obstacles, blind and abandoned by everyone who  I think loves me. Even though the dog is now blind she is still a good dog, a good friend to have.  I look at Abbey and remember  how she once was when she could see with her eyes. Even though she is blind, I believe she is kinder than before.  I believe she sees with her heart now.
 
Today as I think of a blind dog seeing with her heart, I think of God looking at the heart of us all.  I think of myself   in  my familiar surroundings  everyday quite often running  blindly head first into unexpected obstacles that come into my life.  How I handle the things I run into determines  how others who are looking on, look at me and see the real me, kind of see my heart.
 
God knows our heart always. We can't hide our true feelings from Him.  When others are watching observing closely how we as Christians handle tests and trials in our life, we can't really hide from them either.  Be careful how you handle all the obstacles you face this week. Don't  run into any test or trial blindly. Pray first and ask God to touch your heart, give you His heart, and handle the situation accordingly.   Sometime we must learn to back away gracefully and carefully search for a safe path that isn't necessarily familiar to us.  God loves us and will never abandon us. We are never alone in any situation.  May we always see with our heart.  May we always let the world, who is watching, see Christ in us.
 
jbp