This past Sunday our pastor shared a funny story. He moved here from Wisconsin several years ago, and he and his wife often saw our signs in Central Texas that say, “Turn around. Don’t drown.” They chuckled and thought how silly…because they didn’t know about flash floods in our area! However, we that have lived here know all about them and we heed those signs!
He continued his story of how one day they were on their way back from the coast and it started raining and within minutes, they had to pull over and wait, as water rose up the tires of their car. Needless to say, they learned really quickly about the meaning behind the sign, and that it wasn’t silly at all. It was the truth!
I thought that story was interesting, because I too have traveled to other parts of the country and noted their signs that we don’t have here.
“Moose Crossing” is one in particular. We even went on a hunt for moose in that area, but we didn’t see any. “Snow plows ahead” is another sign that is just not seen in my town AT ALL…ever.
I remember when I was teaching my kids how to drive, there was an entire section devoted to learning to read the highway signs and heeding what they say. “Construction zone ahead” warns us to slow down and look for workers. “Yield” signs, unheeded, can cause a wreck for sure! And when driving in uncharted territory, like new cities or states or countries, signs have to be heeded!! There are signs on a stretch of highway here that say it’s a dangerous road with lots of wrecks – that’s a sign that brings fear and sobriety!
Back to our pastor’s story…
The reason the sign seemed silly and funny to our pastor was because it was unfamiliar, he had never experienced a flash flood, and the message seemed irrelevant.
This made me think about sayings and directives in the bible that we sometimes never read or heed, until we’re in danger and need…or until we are in a season of life when rains come down hard, or the sun beats too hot.
God told Lot’s wife “Don’t look back”
He told Samson “Don’t cut your hair”
He directed Noah and said “Rain is coming”
He tells us “Acknowledge me and I will make straight paths”
He says “If you lack wisdom, ask me”
He encourages “Run with perseverance”
He instructs “Make every effort to live at peace”
He enlightens “All things work together for good”
He speaks truth “All scripture is God-breathed”
There are literally “signs” or directives or instruction throughout the bible that offer us safety if we become familiar with them. Sometimes, it takes living life to become familiar, because that particular directive isn’t something we look for, until we turn that corner or experience that curve.
Signs like “Turn around. Don’t Drown.” are placed around our town as reminders of what our weather can do in a moment’s time.
It’s the same with his Word, but we have to read it, notice it, believe it, and heed it.
If he says all things work together for good, then when life is bad – we can follow that truth. When we have no idea what road or path to take, we can remember that directive to ask him for wisdom – and we can know that he will grant it. If he’s warned us to forget our past and move on, we need to obey that and not look back.
It’s a new year, 2021. Hopefully, we will be able to travel again. And when we do, there will be new signs to notice and obey when we cross every state line. And there are new signs and directives He’s placed in our paths as well, to follow the way of peace, joy and love as we walk with him through dark valleys and sunlit hills, skipping along or resting beside still waters.
What sign is on your path today? Not seeing any? Open his Word and learn about his character and direction and love, and ask him to illuminate the sign you need to see…today. And if there’s no sign on your path today, then follow him to still waters and drink and stay awhile until you move on again…
Have you ever seen the sign pictured above? Me either…