Asking for a Sign
“Lord, send me a sign!”
I can not begin to tell you how many times this phrase has left my mouth. It usually occurs when I need to truly understand what God wants of me or for me during a moment of fervent and passionate prayer. It usually has a special ending of my own, “Lord, send me a sign—and make it really clear!” An example was when I was deciding what course to take with my career, namely my shift from classroom teacher to principal. The opportunity to do so at the school where I was employed didn’t exist so I needed to pursue the opportunity elsewhere. I applied and interviewed at a few places, but ignored the position of principal that was open at St. Dominic, even though I was asking for signs throughout the whole time. I received a “poke” from a respected friend to apply. Ignored it. I received a second “poke” from a trusted confidant to apply. Ignored it. A third “poke” occurred from someone with tremendous authority. I did not ignore it. The power of three was too much to ignore. I applied. I interviewed. I accepted. The signs became unmistakable. The signs continued to inform me that I was doing what the Lord intended. There was no denying it. God certainly made it really clear.
In John 1:6-8, 19-28, John is reacting to this basic need for a sign to know and be assured of God’s presence. He is sharing what he has experienced as the sign from God that itwas now time to shift focus from himself to Jesus. John tells his disciples about the dove, and the light, and the words of God – all magnificent signs, bright neon arrows pointing at Jesus, the long awaited Messiah. It couldn’t be more clear. Yet, it is remarkable how slow people are to shift focus away from John to Jesus, if they ever do. The entirety of Jesus’s ministry is all about signs and wonders to move the hearts of those who seek. Those who saw the signs were open to seeing them. Those who didn’t see the signs, simply didn’t want to. They didn’t see it right up to the very end.
Do you find yourself asking God for a sign? Do you also ask him to make it really clear like I do? Do you see the signs even if the signs aren’t exactly what you thought they would be? People didn’t think the sign about the Messiah would be coming from a crazy desert dweller dressed in camel’s fur that ate locusts and honey. Those who do see the signs are open to seeing them. They understand that God works in amazing ways. He gives signs all the time. So the next time you find yourself asking for a sign from God, make sure you are open to the message He is sending or you just might miss it.