by Christina Rose
” As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.” Matthew 3:16-17 NIV
The dove has been a symbol of peace, purity and devotion across many cultures for thousands of years. As a symbol of the Holy Spirit in the Baptism of Jesus, the dove represents God’s peaceful, gentle and beautiful love. His presence in us produces qualities that show God’s character and grace.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV)
God called Noah to build an ark when he sent a great flood to cleanse the earth. Once the rains had stopped, Noah sent out a dove to search for dry land. The dove returned the first time without a sign of finding land, yet on the second occasion the dove returned with a fresh olive leaf in its mouth.
“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. He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him.” (Genesis 8:11-12 NIV)
The dove had found a new home on earth and thus became a symbol of God’s peace with the earth following his judgment. Just as the earth was cleansed during Noah’s time by a flood, our earth today is being cleansed by the trial of the pandemic. We are growing in humility, forbearance, faith, and love as we turn to God more than ever in these uncertain times.
When my little daughters begged for a puppy, I said no, as I knew its care would fall on me. When they became tweens, I ran out of ideas for cool presents, so we got the puppy. While tiny Lily weighed just two pounds, the love and joy she brought to us was giant. As I suspected, much of the care for Lily fell on me for the next 19 years. I didn’t mind as she taught us so much about love and devotion.
Lily was used to waiting long hours for me to return from work, but the Pandemic brought a silver lining in that I could work at home. For the last six months, we spent every day together as she battled blindness, dementia, confusion, and other disorders. All she wanted was for me to be with her, and thanks to God’s grace, I rarely left her side.
Just a few weeks ago Lily left for heaven. She was laid to rest on my brother’s ranch in a beautiful spot with other beloved family dogs. Facing each day without my devoted companion of 19 years has been unbearable. One day I prayed, “God give me something, anything, to show me that Lily is okay.”
One hour later I headed to the park where I walked with Lily every day. As I approached the stream where we would stop to watch the ducks, a beautiful white dove landed on the grass and stared at me intently. In the hundreds of times I have traveled this path, I have never seen a white dove. The dove continued to look intently at me for quite some time, then spread his beautiful white wings to fly towards heaven. I felt God had answered my prayer, by sending the white dove to assure me that Lily was safe with Him.
In these turbulent trials of the pandemic, we are being tested, humbled and stretched. We may be experiencing loss on several levels. God is waiting on us to humble ourselves and call on him. He answers our prayers in signs and wonders, like the white dove that was sent to give me peace. He never leaves us nor forsakes us.
“ If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:14 NIV)
This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).
About the author: Christina Rose is an author, trainer and speaker certified by the John Maxwell Team of Leadership. She is a DAR (Daughter of the American Revolution) whose ancestors fought in the Revolutionary War. She is a world traveler, surfer, foodie, cappuccino loving chocoholic and a devoted mom to kids and dogs and auntie to many nieces and nephews who live around the world.
Christina’s book, My Appeal to Heaven, is her story. With her young family on the verge of falling apart, Christina finds herself in a desperate situation with no resources other than herself. After appealing to heaven, the Lord takes her on a journey of awakening and miraculous empowerment. That power is available to us all, especially those who need hope and freedom.
Join the conversation: Has God ever given you confirmation through a sign from heaven?