The Signs and Promises of Life
Signs can tell us lots of things as we are journeying along. Things such as where we need to go, if we have arrived, and even where we are. Sometimes these signs are visible and sometimes they seem to be hidden. Yet they all proclaim and hold the knowledge that assures and reassures us as we seek where we are going in our journeys. Signs that are visible and easy to understand are the ones we generally like the best. It can be frustrating when signage is unclear, missing, or misleading. Thankfully, the signs that God sends us, hold true to His promises as we journey through life.
When I think of the signs and promises of God, one of the first things that come to mind is the sign of the rainbow. The rainbow is a sign that is well known throughout the history of faith. But it is more than just a Sunday school story of an ark, tons of paired animals, and a lot of rain. The sign of the rainbow is a sealed covenant with God. Where He confirms and agrees to act as our protectors until the end of time. This covenant has three parts, but the overarching promise is that the earth’s order and seasons are preserved and that God’s faithfulness to His Word is seen.
Then God said to Noah, “Yes, this rainbow is the sign of the covenant I am confirming with all the creatures on earth.”Genesis 9:17 (NLT)
The Simple Focus of the Rainbow
The focus is simple and profound, God is with us, we are not alone. God sent and continues to send many signs and promises to believers; the rainbow is just one. But it is this sign that marks the promise that God is taking care of us and providing a way to return to Him. This is emphasized again in Mark 1:15 where Christ said, “The time promised by God has come at last! The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!” As we journey through life it is important to remember that no matter what is happening around us the victory of Christ has been won. Lent is a time to reflect upon this victory and see the signs before us.
Today, as I write, we begin a parallel journey of our life. For we can also choose to follow along the journey of Lent. The Lenten journey has its signs and promises beginning with today. Ash Wednesday, which as the name says is the sign of the ashes. For believers, the ashes are a sign that symbolizes repentance and a reminder of our mortality. But ultimately it is a reminder of how Christ dies for us. By wearing the ashes in the sign or symbol of the cross it shows visibly that a person belongs to Christ. Ash Wednesday is the beginning of Lent. The period of Lent officially lasts for 40 days, not including Sundays that lead to Resurrection Sunday. These forty days represent or replicate Jesus Christ’s sacrifice and withdrawal into the desert for 40 days before beginning His ministry.
The Signs and Promises Seen in the Lenten Journey
The observance of the Lenten journey is a sign in itself. Not a sign that is necessarily visible to others but a sign between the believer and God. A promise, recommitment, or renewal of the covenant between God and His followers. The Lenten journey is a period to silence the noise in our life which takes the most precious commodity we own, time. The purpose of Lent however is not to make our life better but to recenter our life on what matters most; Jesus Christ, the one who not only made us but died for us as well. Lent calls “all who have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, to join together remembering why we are here. Christ came to us as a sign of God’s promise. A sign that God is present, and that God is our advocate and not our enemy.
God’s signs are everywhere and more than rainbows. There are signs such as doves, voices from heaven, and don’t forget the miracles that occur even today. But there is only one sign that brings us to faith and that is the power of God’s message to answer the cry of the heart. God stands ready to protect us by offering our small and confused minds full enlightenment by our faith. He offers those that are sad a reason for joy and the lonely are offered eternal companionship. But rather than looking for signs maybe instead, we need to seek a cleansed heart and renewed life for this will give the evidence of His presence. And that is the point of the Lenten journey.
Reflect, Renew, and Rejoice
Let us each take the time to reflect, renew, and then rejoice as we prepare our way to journey to the cross with Christ where we find our salvation. Let this time be our covenant with God that confirms His victory over our life and the world. The Good News of Salvation and victory has no limits. God is speaking to the world continuously; each time Christ is victoriously preached. As each witness for Him shows His power, control, and transcendence over all creation. God saves and He puts forth Himself to rescue all those who desire Him.
Yes, indeed there are many signs and symbols that remind us of God’s love. Just like the sign of the rainbow shows His promise of love and protection for His people, followers are called to be signs as well. For He calls us to be signs and symbols of His love and protection for the world through serving others. Won’t you be challenged to see the signs before you during your Lenten journey and renew your covenant before the cross? Allow your convictions to be deeply rooted in the love shown to you at the cross, finding your motivation to share the Good News with others. Lastly, seek your comfort in knowing that God’s love and promises transcend through all times.
Take the time during the next 40 days to follow your Lenten journey refocusing and preparing for Resurrection Sunday by finding a place away from the noise of the world to draw to God in a variety of ways.
Love in Christ,
Sometimes it’s the journey that teaches you a lot about your destination.Drake
What are Your Thoughts?
Do you observe the signs and wonders of God? Have you started the Lenten journey this year? Share your thoughts on what the Lenten journey means to you and the variety of ways you plan to set aside to observe it.