Isaiah 18:1-7, Isaiah 19:1-25, Isaiah 20:1-6, Matthew 10:16-23, Romans 9:14-18
Do you remember taking your driver’s exam? Or maybe for some of you, more recent is the memory of helping one of your kids prepare for that pivotal day.
Either way, reach back in the vault with me and remember that day as it occurred for you. It’s a day categorized by a mixture of emotions: excitement and anxiety, longing and hesitation. The promise of freedom and the open road, but also the fear of failure.
I was lucky enough to have a kind, albeit a little gruff, instructor. As we got into the car, he half grumbled, “Remember, keep your eyes on the road, but don’t forget to check all the road signs.”
Simple enough, but good advice. On the road and in life, we can become so focused on where we’re going, or perhaps what’s happening around us, that we forget to pay attention to the signs. Those of you with a proclivity toward speed know what I mean. All of a sudden you’re going 70 in what you didn’t realize was a 55, and the blue lights in your rearview are a gut-checking reminder that you should’ve paid more careful attention to the signs.
Typically, road signs inform us of what is about to come or a change that is about to take place; God’s signs in our lives sometimes do that too. Other times though, like in Isaiah 18, they serve to remind us of what God has already done. Now, this certainly gives us a great deal of hope, but that hope is rooted in a robust memory of God’s redemption and care for His people.
When we see a banner on the mountain, when we hear a trumpet sound, oftentimes God is trying to get our attention and help us recollect the wondrous things He’s done. Certainly, Scripture is a great testament of the past signs and wonders of the Lord, but I might also recommend keeping a journal where you recount the personal blessings of God and answers to prayer in your own life. It’s all too easy to forget the magnificent things He’s done, the miraculous answers to prayer in your life.
One way to find hope in otherwise hopeless situations is to remember the mighty works of God in the past. Recall the signs and wonders He gave to His people in the wilderness, hold on to His faithfulness demonstrated in the Promised Land, and pour out your praises on account of the consistency of God in your own backstory.
Find moments to pause, to reflect. Moments like this are where you can celebrate God’s goodness in the past, raise new banners, and pay attention to the old signs. The world roars and shouts, but God is consistently here speaking into the fray, raising banners and sounding trumpets of joy and good news.
Look. Listen. Pay attention. Count the ways you see the Lord at work in life today!
Written by Andrew Stoddard