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The Olive Branch of Peace

Daily Reading: Genesis 8

Scripture Focus: And the dove came back to him in the evening, and behold, in her mouth was a freshly plucked olive leaf. (Genesis 8.11a)

Devotional Thought: Several years ago, I had a falling out with a friend of mine over some issue now long forgotten. Words were exchanged and the relationship changed. As time passed, so did our anger, but there was no occasion for restoring the friendship. Consequently, neither one of us did anything. Then, almost out of the blue, I received news of a situation that caused me to reach out to my friend. I warily extended a "dove of peace" to see where it might lead. I thought, “Well, I’ve nothing to lose, so I might as well try.” Much to my delight, my friend seemed open to returning to the relationship as it had been. My friend returned an "olive branch of peace." Since that time, we have restored the broken relationship and enjoyed wonderful fellowship. We both regained a friend. Wonderful! It is my opinion that one can never have too many friends!

5,000 years ago, God and mankind had a falling out. A flood came and covered the earth, and only eight people were saved. They floated upon the waters of the flood for many, many days – almost a year. It seemed as if the friendship might be forgotten for good. But God extended an olive leaf – the symbol of peace – in the beak of a dove. In this way, he let Noah, representing all humanity, know that the storm was over, the danger was past, and a reunion was on its way.

Perhaps you have been separated from a friend or a family member – even from God himself – and you long for the olive branch of peace. Do what I did. Do what Noah did. By faith release a dove. I think you will find that reconciliation is not only possible but already begun!

Prayer: Father, thank you for the wonderful gift of friendship. For any broken relationships in my life, help me, like you, to extend the olive branch of peace. Heal and restore those relationships I pray. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 1 How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? 3 Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, 4 lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. 5 But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. 6 I will sing to the Lord, because he has dealt bountifully with me. (Psalm 13.1-6)

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