Isnt it just amazing how you can read the same Bible story over and over, and the Lord can show you something new each time? The idea for this post began on Sunday morning in the Nursery, as I read the story of Noah to a bunch of 2 and 3 year olds.
We all know the story-The world was full of sin, and God was angry. Noah was a man who loved and feared God, so the Lord used him to build the ark, fill it with two of every animal, and then regenerate the world. We know it rained, and it flooded, and then God dried the land, and rebuilt the world. But there is a detail of the story that caused me to think about myself as a lady in a way that I hadn’t before…the story of the dove.
The Bible clearly shows the female dove was the one that Noah sent out multiple times to see if the earth was inhabitable yet.
8 Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground;
9 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 whole earth: then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her in unto him into the ark.
(Now, my FIRST thought was: “Must be because Noah knew males are terrible with directions” hehe) but I then started thinking…God gave that job to a female, and that inspired me.
Often times, in ministry, the primary focus is on the man doing the task, and the woman who supports and encourages him along the way…but in this circumstance, God allowed the female to do the work, for His glory and His honor. God still allows opportunities like that in our lives today. Of course, I know that we are no strangers to women’s ministries, we have: Nursery, children’s Classes, Choirs, Cleaning, Meals, and a dozen other ways to serve, and I would encourage us all as ladies to not think of those things as “lesser” ministries.
The job of that dove was so significant to me. Just to think about all she had to do; from taking care of her husband while being used of God in a great way by searching to find a sustainable living environment for them; to then being a mother, and teaching her children how to be doves…she had a lot on her plate, as do most of us, right?
But there is something special and symbolic about the dove. All throughout history, the dove has been referenced with several characteristics that I think would be beneficial for us as ladies to possess as well.
-As Messengers: Just like the dove in Noah’s day, who came back with a message, represented with the olive leaf. Or howabout an even more current event, such as in WWI, when a dove was awarded an honorary medal for its delivery of a message that assisted in the victory of the Battle of Argonne. We as ladies have a strong and important message to send to the world as well, the gospel of Christ.
-As Peaceful Beings: I am SO guilty of not being a peaceful creature, but Oh! the arguments that wouldn’t have happened had I only been more gentle, and peaceful in my attitude towards some things. God created us to be meek and humble, and no, I didn’t say “Weak and feeble”…there’s a difference. We arent lesser beings, but we were created to be the more tender and nurturing ones.
-As Pure Creatures: The dove is a symbol of purity, forgiveness, and love. Wow–there we go again, pinpointing the areas that I am constantly failing at! Are we living pure thought lives, or do we allow negativity take root? Are we forgiving people, or is it easier to hold a grudge? Are we loving towards each other, including those that may not look, eat, smell or behave like us?
So one last bit of “Dove factoids” for you 🙂 Did you know that the word “Dove” and “Pigeon” are interchangeable in most cultures??? Yes, the same word that describes a beautiful, pure, forgiving, ministry minded creature, also can be used to describe that dirty, nagging, lazy creature we all love to throw french fries at in the parking lot. I guess it’s the same way for us as ladies, huh? We can act in a way that represents us as doves, or as pigeons, and I hope that we chose to represent the magnificent creatures God designed us to be.