My Olive Leaf

838 words | 3 minutes

May 4, 2024

“Where is she?”

Any parent that has raised a child to adulthood will remember the pain of watching them go off on their own for the first time. When they DRIVE off in the family car—ALONE.

I remember. Bethany had just gotten her driver’s license, and we let her take the car one evening to go pick up her friend, Julie. I can’t remember where they were going, but I CAN remember vividly when she should’ve returned home—and didn’t. I stood at the back door, watching, praying … asking God “Where IS she?!? Please please get her safely out of that ditch that she has OBVIOUSLY driven into!” All kinds of horrific reasons for her delay played in living color in my imagination … until … the headlights swung into the driveway and she was HOME. She wasn’t really that late at all—but my love let go made every minute seem like eternity.

“And [Noah] stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark.” (Genesis 8:10 KJV)

Disaster was imminent, according to God, and Noah had built the ark to save his family—at least. We know NOW that they were confined to the ark, with all the animals, for just over a year—but when they FIRST got on board and the LORD shut the door, Noah may have wondered if they’d EVER get off again. How much time is required for a worldwide disaster? They had no idea.

Sure enough, the rains came down and the floods came up … but not forever. One day the mercy of the LORD made the rain stop, the waters abate, and the boat began to bump on the rocky peaks of Ararat. After a while, Noah opened the window and released a squawking raven to check things out. Since the raven is a scavenger, it was likely happy to just fly about, from carcass to floating carcass, not needing to return to the ark for food. Plus, the raven was considered an unclean bird; no doubt Noah hadn’t brought that many on the ark—and he was now down by one. So, the next time Noah sent out a search party, he sent a dove.

The dove is much more careful where it rests and what it eats. Finding no resting place suitable for her taste, she came back to Noah—who NO DOUBT had been anxiously waiting and watching by the window. With love, he had let her go—with joy, he took her back into the ark.

As Charles Spurgeon told the story: “It was at the still hour, when the gates of the day were closing, that with weary wing the dove came back to the master. She could not endure to spend a night hovering over the restless waste … she did not merely alight upon the roof of the ark—she CAME IN TO HIM.”

At the end of the day—of EVERY day—we should likewise not find a place to rest UNTIL we find rest in the hand and arm and embrace of the LORD Jesus. “Him whom my soul loveth.”

It’s interesting to note that the dove came back with something … an olive leaf. As Spurgeon describes it, “a MEMORIAL of the PAST day, and a PROPHECY of the FUTURE.”

As a memorial, she brought proof of God’s faithfulness that had blossomed that day. “New every morning …” It was evidence that God had indeed ended the rain and brought back LIFE to the earth! There WAS an olive tree—the storm is over, the sun is shining—GOD is FAITHFUL!

Each night, we should search as the dove did for PROOF. Somewhere during the day, the LORD God proved Himself to be faithful again. A prayer answered, a sin forgiven, a way made out of no way. If we take the time to hover over the day, we’ll find it. Perhaps it was a random kindness we didn’t even ask for. SEEK for it! Pluck it and bring it back to Jesus with humility and thankfulness, saying, “Thank you, LORD, for what You did today! Thank you for this OLIVE LEAF!”

The olive leaf was not just FAITH-evidence with which to trust God, it was something more: a token of HOPE. A down payment of HOPE that life in the ark wasn’t intended to last forever.

Each day, may I ever seek to find, somewhere within the contents of the day, an OLIVE LEAF—placed there intentionally by the same God who brought the storm. Solid evidence to strengthen my faith AND secure my HOPE for tomorrow—to help me remember that EVERY promise God made WILL come true.

Dear Jesus, at the end of THIS day, may I bring my daily offering of thanksgiving to You “as the gates of the day are closing.” Do You stand at the window, waiting and watching … wondering “Where is she?” LORD, let me not delay but fly straight to Your safe arms—my Savior, my Strength, my Rest.