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How to Overcome the Raven

Noah sent out a raven, and it kept flying back and forth until the water had dried up from the earth. Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. — Genesis 8:7-8

Noah craved the landscape. He longed to see the lilies of the field and the sparrows back in the sky. He desired dry land. But the raven refused to reenter the ark after Noah sent him out to discover a new beginning. He flew to and fro—never completing his mission of looking for land. Some Bible commentators believe he gorged himself on the rotting flesh from the Flood, refusing to go back inside the ark.

Next, Noah sent out the dove, and the dove accomplished the mission. The dove brought back good news. Land! The water was receding. A new beginning was out there.

There are two kinds of birds that come to us in a time of devastation—the raven and the dove. The raven says, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.” The dove comes with an olive branch of hope for a new beginning.

Maybe Noah should’ve chosen the dove first, instead of the raven. But isn’t that life? We make bad choices, we suffer, we get so depressed. We trust in all the wrong things.

What is your raven? Maybe you keep choosing the bad boys in life because you think you can change them. But these ravens never desire peace. They want putrid conditions and chaos.

Maybe your raven is debt. Maybe it’s an addiction. Maybe someone forced you to make a bad decision, and you did it thinking it would make them happy. But it didn’t. Now all you think about is revenge.

Maybe bad choices brought you shame. Maybe you chose a lousy job and feel stuck. Whatever raven you face, it’s time to choose a new direction. Let go of bitterness and despair. Stop focusing on how wrong things are and put your trust in God and wait upon him. For a new beginning is out there, but you must let go of the self-centered raven.

Helmut Thielicke once wrote, “As Noah sends out the dove and sends this message to his God: ‘I cannot see, but I wait for thee,’ God answers: ‘But I see thee, and I am coming.’”

“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up” (Galatians 6:9).

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