If we ask for a sign, we have to follow it!
Margaret wanted a sign from God. She wanted this sign to reassure her that what she was doing was the right thing. She wanted evidence that her choices were the right choices. She wanted certainty that she was okay, but in addition she wanted a sign that God was okay. And so she pleaded in prayer: “God give me a sign. Give me a sign that you are okay with me and my decisions.” When Margaret told me of this prayer, my response was “Margaret, God is always with us giving signs which help us make good choices.” She then asked, “How do I know?” I said, “Margaret, remember why we are here? Didn’t God put us here to love and have us love Him in return? So why wouldn’t God give us the support to make that happen?" But Margaret had more questions. “Okay, I get that, but where do I find them? Where do I look?” I replied, “well we can’t look up at the sky or we‘ll miss them. Instead we have to look down and all around our daily lives. The signs are right before our eyes!"
Looking back to this conversation, I thought how often we look for God’s signs in all the wrong places. Where then are God’s signs to be found?
We find God’s signs wherever we are, because if God is with us, then so are His signs. They are His footprints left behind. When we receive a phone call or note from a friend we haven’t heard from in a very long time. This conversation refreshes us, the memories shared cause us to chuckle, the reminiscences make what we’re doing lighter and easier to handle. This is a sign from a caring God reminding us that He hasn’t forgotten us.
How about when family and friends pop in to our hospital room unexpectedly when we are feeling lonely and “down in the dumps?” Their abundant hugs and delightful stories offer love and concern leaving us cheered up and less concerned about our illness. These convivial visitors are God reassuring us and He does this all the time.
Remember the time we received that long desired forgiveness from someone we love, yet in a weak moment hurt badly. God is in that mercy too. And those tiny surprises from friends and family remembering birthdays and our special life moments with a personal note, email or tweet. These simple greetings of love are all special signs from God that He remembered too. And the compliments we received and didn’t know were coming or even deserved. These are all signs coming right from God’s goodness, and they are just for us.
Yes, indeed God is always sending these little signs in our lives. We just have to be open to finding them scattered throughout our daily lives. They are truly signs of His love. So Margaret and anyone else looking for signs from God, don’t look only to heaven with eyes closed. Instead, open your eyes and see them pointing the way and encouraging us to follow. God’s signs are certainly for seeing, but most definitely they are also for following!