"And the Lord said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man. And he said unto Him, if now I have found grace in Thy sight then show me a sign that Thou talkest with me.”
We often plead with God to answer our prayers; however, sometimes we do not recognize or accept when God responds. Many times we reduce His response to good fortune, luck, or coincidence. In discussing a difficult assignment we were working on, one of my colleagues shared a story concerning God’s response to his prayer request for a “sign” to assure him the job he was praying for would come through.
“You are right;” He said, “It is a blessing. I actually found out I got this job on my birthday. You know, it’s a funny thing. I was out of work for 15 months, the longest I have ever been out of work in my life, and I was very depressed. One evening, while visiting a friend of mine who lives upstate, I was sitting on the deck quietly praying, asking God for a job. I asked Him for a sign; something that would let me know that He really heard my prayer. When I looked up at the sky, I saw a shooting star! I couldn't believe it! I thought that I was seeing things, so I rubbed my eyes, and checked my glasses. When I looked up again, I saw another one, then another and another. I couldn't believe it! I called my girlfriend to tell her what had happened, and she told me that there was supposed to be a meteor shower that evening. As I told her the story, she said she thought it was a coincidence not a response from God; and, that I must have somehow known subconsciously that there was going to be a meteor shower that evening from the news. I explained that I didn't know there was going to be a meteor shower, and I hadn't even heard about it. But she still didn't believe it was a response from God. But I did! It was too precise. I had just finished asking for a sign, and there it was. Then on November 18th, my birthday, I found out that I had gotten the job.”
As he told the story, I thought about all the people who often pray about a circumstance or problem, yet somehow do not recognize the response when it occurs. It happens to all of us. We are reminded of this in the biblical story of Gideon, found in the Book of Judges, chapter six. Although, told by an angel that he is selected by God to lead Israel into battle against the Midianites and Amalekites, Gideon does not believe that he is the one God really wants. So, to gain confirmation of the angel’s message, he requests that the angel show him a sign. When the sign occurs, he still does not believe he is the chosen one. Believing instead that the sign was a coincidence, he requests yet another sign in the reverse order. Throughout this story, although he is obedient to God, he is confused by his own fear, ultimately questioning almost every direction.
Sometimes our doubts and fears get so far ahead of us that it becomes hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Yet the light is always there. There are times when you may need a sign to encourage you in your quest; if so, ask. But remember, it was Jesus, in response to Didymus ‘Doubting’ Thomas’ unbelief who said, “Blessed are they who have not seen, yet have believed.” —Because, sometimes we simply have to have faith in understanding that no matter what happens, God is working on our behalf. L.
Study Reference: Judges 6:1-40, John 20:27-29
From: "Show Me A Sign." In The Master's Hands: 365 Daily Devotions For Everyday Living.
Copyright © 2014 by Lavona E. Campbell
photo: Dan Bush