What’s your personal sign from God? A cloud formation, a song that comes on the radio while you’re praying for guidance, a dragonfly, or a glorious rainbow when it isn’t raining? Mine is red cardinals. We most cherish the intimate things of God in our relationship with Him.
Intimacy is impossible without familiarity and connection. Your husband’s fingers touching yours while you wait for test results, or the two packages of 90% chocolate my husband surprised me with last February 13th. (We haven’t observed Valentine’s Day in 36 years.)
You know how much I love dark chocolate–and Mr. Baber.
Power is Personal
The power of gestures is greatest when they are unique and personal. Only my closest friends know my deepest loves, greatest joys, and most difficult challenges.
God shows Himself in many ways, some spectacular and some that only you understand. For me, brilliant red cardinals have long symbolized the Holy Spirit. I can’t see one without smiling and giving God the glory for reaching through the veil in such a personal manner.
A few days ago, I walked in the shade of tall trees skirted by a dense understory and populated by a host of God’s critters. I drank in the beauty around me and prayed.
“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.–Luke 12:6-7
God Reveals Himself
God and I were in conversation. I asked for wisdom and guidance. As you know, God always hears us, but doesn’t always respond in obvious ways.
I accept that. Yet right after I asked God if I was on the right track, I noticed a red cardinal on the top of a 8-foot stockade fence about fifty feet away. God is so good, I thought, delivering a cardinal in response to my question.
I stopped walking to revel in the cardinal’s scarlet glory and presence, but birds seldom stay in the same place for long. On cue, the cardinal opened his wings and took flight.
I expected the cardinal to fly into the woods.
Instead, the red-robed messenger from the Most High flew directly TO me. He perched on a low branch not five feet away from my head and looked directly down into my face. We locked eyes.
Intimacy with God
God knew precisely how I would interpret the message; “I am here, and heard your unspoken wish to see Me. I love you.” There was no mistaking the message, the affirmation, and the security of God’s intimate response.
Now and then God delivers personal messages, exclusive in their design and presentation for each of His children.
It’s the small things that define faith, buffer vulnerabilities, and inspire trust. Decades ago, a close friend challenged God to explain Himself by asking, “Are you a far-away God or a close-up, personal God?”
As you have, she discovered how personal He is. She is a dedicated and tireless servant; a blessing, an example, and a gift to all. (Though she would never believe it.) You’ve probably never heard of her, but she’s a role model for me.
A Mustang’s Gift
Recently, a friend shared a short video to Facebook of an adult mustang she adopted two days earlier. He had a leg injury but she couldn’t get close enough to treat it.
Two days after the mustang arrived, my friend sat quietly in the paddock close to the hay pile. The area was big enough for the mustang to drink and rest in the shade without getting near her.
She wanted to offer the mustang peace, comfort, and security. So, she simply occupied space with a quiet spirit and no pressure except her quiet presence.
She waited, sneaking an occasional peek from under half-closed eyelids. She video’d the bay gelding, the phone held close to her chest, motionless except for shallow breaths.
Time passed and the edited video shows the bay mustang approach his hay pile and begin to munch.
Curiosity is a powerful motivator. The video shows a soft brown nose getting closer, until finally, it almost touched the camera. The screen filled with a soft muzzle and long whiskers, coming THIS close to her chest.
Introducing the video was this two-word comment, “I cried.”
My heart sang with hers. The mustang’s gift is both priceless and personal. He offered an open door to trust. Maybe it isn’t much to the casual observer, but you understand the significance of the horse choosing to enter her personal space.
Small things mean the most; the tiniest change; the first sign of acceptance; unexpected dark chocolate; a red cardinal.
“It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”–Matthew 13:32
The Kingdom Truth
In every circumstance there’s something you believe and something others believe. When beliefs don’t match up, friction often follows. The path to peace lies on the other side of a gate opened by asking and answering this question:
“What is the kingdom truth?”
The only source of truth is God. In the context of His word and eternity, what is the truth of the topic or circumstance causing division?
God speaks to you. If you need an answer, some provision, or His truth, ask–and ask persistently. (Luke 11:8). Then watch for His response. It is usually delivered in some still, small, and very personal way.
That’s one way you know for sure that it came from Him.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”–Matthew 6:33
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