This is a guest post from Peri Koussa - a fifth year PharmD student at MCPHS University in Boston. Aside from being a future health care professional, Peri is also - in her own words - "a closet poet and strong believer in the power of words." You can see more of Peri's work by checking her out on SoundCloud. And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
How often do you ask God for "a sign"? Are you as guilty of it as I am? I say things like: “If God wills it”, or “God, I’m putting this in Your hands”, or just simply “Lord, give me a sign.”
I like to include God in every little decision that I make, hence the constant fishing for reassurance by asking for a sign. But it’s listening to His answer that always drives me nuts. I can never tell if/when He’s responding. My struggle is always — how do I discern if this is a spiritual sign or just a plain old sign that I’m trying to see spiritually?
Most of us are probably caught asking for a sign when choosing a life partner. I think it’s easily the biggest commitment you could make, (second to having a child), so we find divine intervention to be most crucial.
But you know what? It’s not always black and white. Sometimes who you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with might be as clear as night and day, but other times, it simply isn't.
God’s not cupid. He doesn’t use a bow and arrow to match you with the Adam or Eve of your dreams. God uses the Holy Spirit. I think most people misinterpret, “listen to your heart,” because your heart isn’t your feelings, it’s the Holy Spirit that lives within you.
Thus we need to stop looking with our EYES and start listening with our HEARTS.
And, yes, there are other points in life where we ask God for a sign. Points that make us wish our life paths were more clear. But, as I sit here and commiserate, I’m reminded of Jonah and Abraham, whose stories reassure me that God’s plan will always prevail no matter the sign.
Jonah didn’t have to ask for a sign, God clearly said to him: “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you” (Jonah 3:2).
But despite how clear God was, Jonah ignored Him. God had a plan for him, though, and no matter how hard Jonah would’ve tried, God was going to make sure that His plan for him was the one that prevailed. And it did.
God sent Abraham the sign that he was longing for in the last second; “Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!…Do not lay a hand on the boy” (Genesis 22:10-12).
Talk about perfect timing…
Now you might be thinking to yourself, "I wish God’s signs were that clear for me!"
Maybe they are. God’s sign language is the Holy Spirit that resides within you, and there’s nothing louder than that voice in your head. So listen to Him as He guides you over every speed bump.
It’s human nature to become fixated on our paths and obsess over interpreting signs. But if we listen to our hearts and hear what God has to say, it’ll become easier and easier for us to understand what these signs mean.
After all, as Solomon once said: “A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9)