Catch a Glimpse of New Possibilities - From Max Lucado
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
from Begin Again
Water. All Noah can see is water. Water to the north. Water to the south. Water to the east. Water to the west. Water. For forty days it has rained. For months they have floated. For weeks Noah has been wondering, How long is this going to last? Can God re-create this world? Is he able to start over? Can he, and we, begin again?
Finally the boat bumped, and the rocking stopped. The hull of the ark was resting on ground, but the ground was still surrounded by water.
Noah sent a raven on a scouting mission; it never returned. He sent a dove. It came back shivering and spent. Then, he pulled a dove out of the bowels of the ark and ascended the ladder. With a prayer he let it go and watched until the bird was no bigger than a speck.
All day he looked for the dove’s return but all he sees is water. Water to the north. Water to the south. Water to the east. Water to the . . .
You know the feeling. You have stood where Noah stood. You’ve known your share of floods. Flooded by sorrow at the cemetery, anger at the disability in your body, fear of the uncertainty of a pandemic. You’ve been on Noah’s boat. And you’ve needed what Noah needed: hope.
Hope doesn’t promise an instant solution but rather the possibility of an eventual one. Sometimes all we need is a little hope. That’s all Noah needed. And that’s what Noah received.
This is how the Bible describes the moment: “When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was a freshly plucked olive leaf!” (Gen. 8:11).
An olive leaf. This leaf was more than foliage; this was promise. The bird brought more than a piece of a tree; it brought hope. For isn’t that what hope is? Hope is an olive leaf—evidence of dry land after a flood. Proof to the dreamer that dreaming is worth the risk.
To all the Noahs of the world, to all who search the horizon for a glimpse of hope, God proclaims, “Yes!” And he comes. He comes as a dove. He comes bearing fruit from a distant land, from our future home. He comes with a leaf of promise that he can make all things new.