Each year, about this time of year, there is a psychological phenomenon that erupts in South Texas. It’s akin to a full-blown epidemic, creating an itch that begins to gnaw at the heart and emotions of fowlers, specifically.

In late August, the fowler’s itch turns to a throbbing twitch. The muscle memory of his once nimble shooting finger longs to feel the gold-inlaid trigger of his prized Italian shotgun. His nostrils flair upward the instant he smells the first hint of fresh fields planted with sunflower, millet, sorghum, and sesame.

And then, when the first rapport of the infamous 20 ga. 12 ga. chorus belch their symphonic roar announcing “Season is open,” the love affair of the fowler with his dreams of darkened skies and flying birds traps his heart’s affections in the thrill of the hunt.

In Genesis 8, the beauty of the dove flying was not seen through the eyes of a fowler looking for the thrill of sport, but its beauty beheld by eyes of a seafarer longing for a new shore. Noah longed to see life in a new dimension of time; a place where waters were receding and a new land protruding; a place where the fountains of the deep would shut up and the windows of heaven closed up. Noah looked for that place where majesty of grace could be captured in these few words, “And the dove came in to him in the evening; and, lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth.” Gen. 8:11

Like Noah, regardless of our circumstances, the tempest of our storm, or the toil of our bodies, we look to the Lord our God for another day of His favor and sovereign grace. The Lord God, it is He who is the preserver of our soul and our song is lifted to Him in gratitude.

Just as the dove found no rest outside of the ark and there she returned to it, so our soul finds no satisfaction in the empty things of this world. Our God alone gives us the fulness of life and the bounty of His promise. He alone ensures that we see His holiness and His love when we see the doves fly.

So, may this day testify that your mouth is one that is filled with praise, singing your song of adoration with an enthusiasm made for a new day. Boisterously you sing, “I am grateful for God’s tender mercies that are new to me every morning and fresh each afternoon.”

Friend, I pray that you can put forth your hand longing for the sweet peace that comes from the promise of God’s Heavenly Dove with as much anticipation as that of the South Texas fowler who longs to see his annual pilgrimage yield a bountiful field of returning dove.


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