When we need direction, we pray to seek God’s counsel. But sometimes, following being unable to discern His voice, we ask for a physical sign to get our answer.
We like firm direction. We like clear paths. We want to make sure we’re being propelled toward the right goal.
And yet, I’ve noticed that sometimes we ask for a sign, but then don’t recognize it when it comes.
I wonder, when we ask a question, are we expecting that God will answer? Or do we expect more silence and try to answer the question ourselves? I know I’m guilty of this.
But even more dangerously, we don’t believe the sign.
One day, I asked for direction, and if the answer to my question was “yes”, I asked to see a cardinal outside my house that day. If the answer was “no”, I would not see a cardinal. Cardinals like my backyard, but I hadn’t seen one in a while.
Shortly thereafter, I had seen a red cardinal five different times in under an hour. Two of those appearances were accompanied by the cardinal’s lady cardinal friend, making for seven cardinal visitations.
I think most would say that the answer from the Big Man Upstairs was “yes”. But I, being myself, was unsure. Did I see cardinals because cardinals like our backyard? Because it was spring? Was it indicative of chance or a divine sign?
Who knows? I didn’t. I still don’t.
Sometimes we need to ask God to repeat Himself. He knows we’re flawed and mistrusting. If our hearts are really seeking His will, He’ll make sure we know what it is.
The other point I want to make though, is that I could have easily missed the sign. I wasn’t by the window when I made my prayer. I could have spent the whole day not looking outside. Many times I got distracted by my phone. I felt like Jesus’ disciples when they fell asleep in the garden of Gethsemane: asked to stay awake, but falling asleep at first chance.
So if you’re looking for answers… stay on guard. Keep your eyes peeled and watching. You can’t see a sign you’re not looking for.