For two months I have been observing a nest with doves on my back open porch. It has been one of the most beautiful things to watch both male and female doves sitting on the eggs. The male usually takes the day shift and the female sits on the eggs at night. Once the eggs hatch, they both participate in caring for the young doves. Doves are one of the most widespread and adaptable North American birds. Beginning as early as March, doves begin nest building taking about 2-4 days to complete. Their nests are lightly put together. When the young hatch, the adults will brood over them continually for 4-5 days. They often reuse the same nest for five sets of eggs in a single season. The picture below has me a bit confused. Three doves on the nest? I’m still researching that one!
I did not know much about the nesting and brooding habits of doves until they came to roost on my porch. They started building in march and to date in June, they are still there. The babies are taught to be independent and the next egg nesting begins. As for me and my household, we don’t want them to ever leave. They are a continual source of joy and anticipation for us as we watch God’s beautiful creatures birth their babies.
But what has been most amazing to me, is watching the process and thinking about the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. John the Baptist was told by God to look out for the person on whom the dove would rest. This person would be the Messiah. I can imagine that John looked around as he baptized people looking to see if there were any doves around. He waited and was obedient, and then one day the Messiah came:
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 settling on him. (Matthew 3:16)
The Holy Spirit is a person, not an impersonal force. He is the third person of the Trinity. In Jesus’s farewell message n the Gospel of John chapters 14-16, Jesus speaks of the Holy Spirit whom He would send once He ascended to the Father after the crucifixion. We know this supernatural event as Pentecost. Fifty days after Jesus ascended, the Holy Spirit fell and is described in the following passage:
When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. (Acts 2)
Well, that hardly seems like a dove! Although the Holy Spirit is here described as a rushing wind and fire, the nature of the Holy Spirit is that of a dove. When the dove descended on Jesus, God’s voice said that this was His Son, His beloved. The dove shows us truths about the Holy Spirit: He is Peace. Under Jewish law, the dove represented purity. As I observed the doves who had taken up residence on my porch, I noted that they were so peaceful. They sat calmly when I walked by or when the door opened. They took up their post and guarded that which was entrusted to them (their eggs). The doves nurtured and cared for their babies when they left the nest.
Jesus sent His promised Holy Spirit and his influence on our lives brings the following characteristics:
Wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord. (Isaiah 11: 2-3).
The doves on my porch could have gone unnoticed, but once I saw them my eyes were fixed on them for months. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the Holy Spirit. If you are a believer in Jesus Christ, He has come to roost in your spiritual temple. He is the spirit of wisdom and counsel. Ask for the Holy Spirit to be released in full measure in your life. He will lead you into truth and empower you to follow Christ. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit three in one bringing wholeness, healing, deliverance and power into our lives. God thought of everything didn’t He?
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