For many, the words of David in this Psalm are far too real. Loss of a loved one, worry about someone sick, our own illness or other trials. It is “overwhelming” and so we cry out for help:
“I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. I would flee far away and stay in the desert; I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm. ”
No-one wants to be in a storm. However, far too often we find ourselves despairing as “tempest and storm” threaten to overwhelm us. And our only thought is to get away. “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove I would fly away and be at rest”. But how does we do that? Let's, for a moment, follow the dove, for maybe we can find this rest in our storm.
The first time we find the dove in he Bible is in the story of Noah. The world has been deluged with water, the ultimate storm, and Noah sends our a dove to see if it can find dry ground. At first is doesn’t find any place to rest. The second time it returns with “a freshly plucked olive leaf” and finally it does not return. It’s found rest. (Genesis 8:6-12).
In this story there is an important lesson. Simply praying for wings and flying somewhere will not guarantee us rest. Often we do this. We desperately grasp whatever we can get. Yet often the peace in the storm is short lived.
Rest in a storm is only found if we go where the dove went. Where did it go? Following the dove in the Bible, thousands of years later, we find it landing on a very special person.
“As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and John saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on Jesus. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”” (Matthew 3:16-17)
The dove lands on Jesus. And for good reason. It is he who gives us true rest in our storm. Jesus says: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28). It is he who gives us true peace in our tempest - a peace that defies human reason: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” (John 14:27)
And so, if life’s storms are raging around you. If it’s impossible to know where to turn. Let’s do as David did and pray for the wings of a dove so we might find divine rest and peace in God.
“As for me, I call to God, and the LORD saves me.” (Psalms 55:16).
My prayer for you today is that “the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:7) Amen. 🙏🏻