Signs are wonderful things. They can convey all sorts of important information to anyone who can interpret the message.
Airports and other locations frequented by visitors from many nations usually post signage that is understandable in any language, such as the male and female silhouettes on restroom doors. Many of these symbols are becoming nearly universal in our mobile culture.
When I was visiting my son in Italy for the first time, it became necessary for me to drive the unfamiliar streets. Unfortunately, traffic signs that were meaningful to the locals were ambiguous, at best, to me. Blessedly, I was able to safely navigate from point A to point B, but it was an exciting experience that occasionally haunts my dreams to this day.
When I am lost or unsure, directional signs take on critical importance. This is especially true in my faith walk.
If I am dealing with knotty decisions in my life I am sometimes tempted to look for a sign from God to tell me what to do. Then, when something happens that seems to point to one choice or the other, I wonder if what I perceive as God’s message to me is merely wishful thinking, misinterpretation or random coincidence. I become frustrated and petition God for something bold; nothing less than a “hand writing on the wall” will do.
I truly believe that God speaks to us today.
He speaks through the Bible, first of all. If the choice I’m dealing with is addressed in his word, then I don’t need any other signs or wonders. The clearly recognizable signs such as Stop, Wait, and Yield are there for all to see.
He speaks to us through that still small voice of conscience, as well. But, I crave something more tangible, more specific.
It is human nature to want a clear, unambiguous, unavoidable sign posted on our path at each intersection. That is not God’s way, though.
Before we had the clear message of the Bible and the gift of the Holy Spirit, God anointed prophets to interpret his signs to the people.
Those of us who are not prophets do not have the skills of interpretation to let us know if a leaf blown across our path is a sign from God to turn around, or a sign that it is a windy day.
We must rely on our knowledge of God’s word and sensitivity to his leading through the Holy Spirit.
If I am stymied by my options in a situation, perhaps I just need to get back to those basics and trust God to carry me through.
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