For Your Birthday L.P.
I know you will appreciate my computer savvy in being able to find a picture on-line and actually put it on my blog! That effort is for you :)
I will be praying today that today's birthday brings a measure of peace, hope and even a glimpse of happiness.
As I was thinking about what "on-line" gift I wanted to send you...you know facebook flowers, virtual cups of coffee etc. I had the picture of an olive leaf in my mind. So this is the best picture I could find for you. And since my computer savviness limits how I can send this to you...I will dedicate this post to you. :)
This image of the dove carrying the olive leaf is often used as a symbol of peace but I also see it as a symbol of hope.
As I read through the account of Noah a few things stand out to me this morning so I thought I'd share them with you.
" Then the Lord shut them in. For forty days the flood kept coming on the earth and as the waters increased they lifted the ark high above the earth. The waters rose and increased greatly on the earth. and the ark floated on the surface of the water. ......"
"Only Noah was left, and those with him on the ark....But God remembered Noah."
It was dark, damp and smelly...the rain poured and the waters churned and heaved for 40 days and nights. Then after that they just drifted...and drifted and waited. The isolation, the grief for a world forever changed...nothing but the dark dank life they now knew. The fear that they had been forgotten or abandoned by the God they served, not knowing how or if life would ever return.
But "God remembered Noah" and those that were with him on the barge. God had not forgotten those who loved him. He had not abandoned them in that place. The word "remembered" isn't an "oh yeah ,I almost forgot about that dude in the boat" statement it refers to active concern for and showing loving kindness toward Noah. When God "remembers" his children he does so with "favor".
side note : Imagine the cabin fever Noah's wife would have had! :)
Then comes the olive leaf moment. After a couple failed attempts to send out a bird to find land.
"He waited seven more days ( which must have seemed like an eternity to his wife) and again sent out the dove from the ark. 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."
After a very long year of being locked in a floating barn Noah and his family set their feet on dry ground.
The thing with Olive trees is that they do not grow in high altitudes, they are a plant that grows in low lying areas. So as they perched on top of Mt. Ararat it was proof of new life being restored out of the devastation ...beyond what they could see. It was a symbol of hope, the possibility that there was beauty and life ahead of them.
We can survive without a lot of things but hope is not one of them. Without hope our spirit will dry up and and we will be lost in our despair.
So my gift to you this birthday is the reminder the God has not forgotten you. The storm rages on and it seems there will be no end to the pain....but He will not abandon you there. The waters eventually will recede and with it new hope will emerge. Until then my friend hold onto that hope, take your next breath, survive another day...and wait on the Lord....wait for the Olive leaf. It will come.
"But God remembered him....."
even in his doubts
even in his isolation
even in his grief
he was not left to drift forever...God had a plan for him beyond the flood.
"...we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm, and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain.." Hebrew 6: 19
Happy Birthday Leah.