When does it rain in Gerrardstown, WV in the Shenandoah Valley? When the mountains turn white. After almost two and half months I have learned this important inside information regarding the weather in these parts. It’s not the wind, the thunder or even the lightening that lets you know when it’s going to rain; it’s the how the mountains look.
In life we need signs to tell us what to expect. Yellow light means it will soon turn red. One bar on your cell phone means you are about to run out of battery life. Flashing lights on a car behind us means we need to pull over.
People were looking for signs during the New Testament times too. Jesus told some Pharisees when they asked him for a sign from heaven that they didn’t know a sign when they saw one! I wonder what sign did they want to see? When he healed the man with a withered hand all they could do was complain that he was breaking the Sabbath laws. When he told the man lowered on a pallet in front of him that he was forgiven, they whispered something like “how dare he!” What other signs were they looking for? Where were they when he calmed the winds and waves on the ocean? Or when he fed the 5000 or the 4000? How about when he rose from the grave to which they sent him?! No, they didn’t believe the resurrection of Jesus even though he’d told them this sign of Jonah was the only sign he would give them.
We often say we want a sign to know whether God wants us to enter this profession or that profession, marry this person or that person; buy this house or that house; go here or there. I am becoming more and more convinced that God’s will is love, goodness and mercy. God’s will is big and bold and full of blessing. And God has offered us plenty of signs – especially the whole of the 66 books of the Bible that touch on God’s will in a multitude of ways. Then there is Jesus who came proclaiming the Kingdom-abundant life sent from the Father with Jesus as the center. In the Kingdom life Jesus showed us God’s will as people were healed, fed, cleansed, forgiven or made to be in their right mind. These are awesome signs of God’s will and what life is like with Christ as King!
The same can be true for us. When we answer the call to follow him- we will know abundant life and the answers to life’s questions will be lived in and with Jesus. Our daily life centered on Christ might include reading, listening and meditating on what Jesus would have us know out of scripture and how that applies to what we say and do this day. Then as we go about inviting the Kingdom to come, we listen for the moments when we can share the love and the grace of the King and the Kingdom with others.
Jesus, like the mountains turning white, will always be our sign of God’s greatest gift of grace ‘reigning’ in our lives. He is the One who shows us the Father when we don’t understand God’s will and who brings us into a place of peace and rest.