“…there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf!” Genesis 8:11
I am attempting to read the Bible through this year using Meet the Bible by Philip Yancey and Brenda Quinn. Today I read a familiar story of the flood and when I got to this verse something washed over me: gratitude and gladness. After devastation, the dove returns with an olive leaf. I have seen this in my own life.
Noah had labored and built an ark. And if I understand it correctly, he waited with his family and the animals inside for 7 days before it rained. It had never rained. Then the deluge and horror of losing humanity and all the other animals and the places he must have loved. Then the waiting, sending out the raven then the dove. I cannot imagine standing out on the deck of the ark watching the horizon for the dove. What could he have felt seeing something green in its beak?
Have you ever experienced devastation? Has God ever took a wrecking ball to your life? Have you ever been harmed or watched someone you love be harmed? Have you ever looked out over ruins and wondered if God cared or if He was real?
God painted something in the sky for Noah, a rainbow. And He wrote a poem:
As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease.
The rainbow is the first recorded covenant by God. God chose beauty to remind us of grace.
The representation of the shower of His grace looks like a rainbow. And when I see it, I have to fall to my knees and receive. I open my hands and let the abundance weight them down.
Today I am thankful for new life, new beginnings, new stories, new adventures. And grace. Yes, I am thankful for grace.