Signs: Does God Speak To Us Through Events Large And Small In Our Lives?
By Michael H. Brown
We have all had the experience. Something happens that seems to warn us, or to confirm something, or to serve as a precursor. It could be large. It could be small. It can be barely noticeable. You're not sure whether it's just a coincidence or bears significance -- perhaps even something monumental.
I believe that everything in life is significant and I don't believe too much in "coincidence." God speaks to us all on a nearly constant basis and often it is through life's "little" events. Pay attention to detail. Watch the daily flow. Be sensitive to the promptings of the Holy Spirit.
Not that we become obsessed. Not that we take every single thing as a "sign." Not that we see everything as an omen.
But pay attention. Sometimes when we're straying from what God wants or what is good for us we suddenly begin to encounter a series of little and then larger obstacles. On the other hand, when it's in His Will, all doors fly open.
Haven't you had that happen? Haven't you felt God's subtle Hand? There are signs in all our lives. There are signs that God loves us and cares about us and signs when He wants to warn us of danger. That's how good the Lord is: though life is supposed to be a test of faith -- and a place of blindness -- He can't help but send us hints.
Last spring my godfather died on Easter Sunday. That was a sign to his family. Years before, when a great uncle of mine died, a rainbow paralleled the funeral route even though it was a sunny day -- once more offering consolation. Recently we were having our son's room painted and when the painter got to the house he sheepishly announced that he had dropped a gallon of nearly startling dark blue paint all over the store parking lot.
I should have taken that as a "sign" and meditated on what was about to transpire -- for as it turns out, the color was too startling and we had to immediately paint over it.
This is typical. Often, the signs come when we're headed in the wrong direction. I see God in that. I see His constant nudge. And we're supposed to pay attention. "But if they will not believe even these two signs or heed what you say, then you shall take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground; and the water which you take from the Nile will become blood on the dry ground," the Lord warned in Exodus.
Sometimes we have a close call with our cars because He is warning us to be careful; He is warning us of what can happen in the future; He is hinting about particular circumstances. When little things go wrong, we need to step back and pray for direction. Why did that happen? Is it just a happenstance of life? A coincidence? Or does it bear meaning?
The more we watch daily events, the more signs we will note.
In Scripture are many signs -- from the blatant ones granted to Moses to the seemingly smaller ones like the cock that crowed thrice. Many are the times we see the weather shift at peculiar moments, when there is a sprinkle of rain when we need rain or when a storm veers away when we need to be outdoors (this happened during the Pope's Mass at World Youth Day, when a major thunderstorm fled at the opening of Mass). The more we are in God's favor, the more we obey and serve Him, the more favors and signs He sends. Watch the nuances of your every day. Watch the trends of people and events.
Do we seek signs? Do we ask for them?
I get that question often, and am not sure how to answer. Many good people pray for "confirmations" -- and often seem to get them. On the other hand, we're still called to faith and we have to remember the words of Christ: "An evil and adulterous generation craves for a sign; and yet no sign will be given to it but the sign of Jonah the prophet." (Matthew 12:39).
When we're always seeking after signs, the evil one can be only too willing to accommodate.
So, be careful. Do not constantly seek oracles. Let God be God; let Him decide when to send direction. The most effective signs are those God sends without a request. They are the ones that are clear-cut, that grant us peace, that don't take agonizing discernment. One of the greatest signs in history was the great sign prophesied at Fatima -- a sign that was spontaneous, that reached across the entire continent of Europe, and that no one requested.
We need only pray, heed the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and wait with joy, because when there is faith, God always guides, He always sends signs -- and He always exceeds our expectations.
See Brush with death gave Gibson a 'sign' (below) from sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30500-1062078,00.html
Australian actor Mel Gibson says a near-death experience taught him "there are bigger things than ourselves out there".
He said he believed "supernatural or other-worldly forces" influenced his life The 46-year-old film star escaped death when he overtook a car on a slippery mountain road and found himself in the path of an oncoming lorry.
"I was about 21 and there was a rock face on one side and a sheer drop on the other. I knew my number was up, so I covered my head and said a little prayer," he told The People magazine.
"The last thing I remember seeing, as I careered towards the cliff edge, was this massive gum tree heading towards me, then this big bang and silence.
"When I eventually opened my eyes, the car was perched between two trees, with the front wheels dangling over the edge.
"It was a miracle I wasn't killed and it made me realize there are bigger things than ourselves out there."
Gibson was talking about his latest film, Signs - due for release in September - in which he plays a Pennsylvanian farmer plagued by crop circles.
He said although he did not believe in "little green men coming out of space ships", he "won't rule out the possibility" that the patterns are a sign.
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