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Spirituality

Oh God, Show Me a Sign!

Kathy Roman | Updated Jul 12, 2021

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

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Kathy Roman | Apr 25, 2017

The views expressed in our content reflect individual perspectives and do not represent the official views of the Baha'i Faith.

When I was a little girl, feeling lost or confused, I would talk to God and ask for a sign to show me everything was going to be okay.

As I got older, I put that silliness away for the most part. But superstitions aside, I do still believe that God can speak to us through signs that are meaningful to us. Synchronicities and coincidences at just the right time can support and confirm us. But what about asking for signs like I did as a child? Two unique circumstances taught me valuable lessons.

My Stories of Asking God to Give Me Signs

It was a cloudy night. Not a star could be seen. I was ruminating, waiting on the results of a serious medical test. I stepped outside and looked up at the evening sky. The child in me asked, “God, if everything is going to be alright, please give me a sign. Let me find just one star behind all these clouds and mist.” The test was on. Surely I would be able to find one tiny star to save me. I scoured the leaden sky. Not a one. I went to the front of our house. Nothing. I circumambulated our home entirely. My heart sank. I had days to wait on the test results, and now my fears were worse than ever.

RELATED: We’re All Made of Stars. What Does This Mean Spiritually?

Then a blissful thought popped into my mind and rescued me. It didn’t matter how many clouds were in the sky, or if I was able to find a star. I didn’t need to see a star because whether I saw one or not, I knew that logically, they were there, hiding behind those clouds. This was fact. My epiphany was that I didn’t need to see something to believe in it, and in this case to know it. My goal was to strive now for this level of faith; not vague wishing or hoping, but an absolute knowing:

Mankind is notoriously too dense to read the signs that God sends from time to time. We require drums to be beaten into our ears, before we should wake from our trance and hear the warning and see that to lose oneself in all, is the only way to find oneself. – Mahatma Gandhi

Verily I say, the human soul is, in its essence, one of the signs of God, a mystery among His mysteries. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 160.

Years passed, and I found myself having to deal with people who made me feel exceedingly insecure. Since these people were not leaving my life anytime soon, I knew it would not be an easy fix. I had to change the way I felt about myself and not expect anyone else to change.

My husband and I decided to spend the weekend in the mountains. Still feeling insecure, I even questioned God’s love for me. Since it is always my greatest delight to see the deer when we visit the mountains I thought, “God, if I am good and worthy, please let me see a deer sometime this weekend.”

RELATED: Exploring the Meaning of Our 4 Spiritual Seasons

Throughout the two-hour drive up I viewed a majestic forest, a surging river and a turquoise sky, but not one deer. No matter, we had three days ahead of us. But as each day passed, my spirits sank. Though illogical, these debilitating thoughts pervaded a good bit of our trip. Finally, our last day came. It was time to leave. As we drove down the mountain, I searched the side of the road and saw nothing but brush. We passed far beyond where deer would normally be seen. Utterly disheartened, I let go of all hope. Then a realization hit me like a bombshell. I felt ashamed and ridiculous. I should not expect God to send me signs on demand. How presumptuous of me! I told myself I should never do this again.

buck

Within minutes something happened that took my breath away. Heavy traffic slowed to a halt on one of the curves of the mountain road. All of sudden and out of nowhere a large buck walked out in front of our car, stopped and looked in at us and then slowly proceeded across the road. For a few minutes I sat in disbelief and awe. My heart flooded with divine love and overwhelming joy.  

Why I Stopped Asking God to Show Me a Sign

After lessons in humility and trust, I did get my confirmations—but it was on God’s terms, in God’s time. Besides learning that I should not challenge God by demanding signs, I learned that God has His own way of showing His love, better than anything I could dream up or request. My job, I realized, is to cultivate a faith so strong that it is knowing. Now I don’t ask for signs—but I keep my eyes open:

Know thou that every created thing is a sign of the revelation of God. Each, according to its capacity, is, and will ever remain, a token of the Almighty. Ibid., p. 184.

We are always looking for signs. We are always asking for God to speak to us. But those signs are all around us. They are in everything. God is always speaking. The question is whether we are listening. – Yasmin Mogahed

Every created thing in the whole universe is but a door leading into His knowledge, a sign of His sovereignty, a revelation of His names, a symbol of His majesty, a token of His power, a means of admittance into His straight Path. – Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 160.

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Comments

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  • rodney Richards
    Jul 21, 2021
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    I must admit, I got lax and firm at the same time after meditating and memorizing Baha'u'llah's Hidden Word, ""For everything there is a sign. The sign of my love is fortitude in my decree and patience under my trials." That was fifty years ago and i have stood by it and it has stood me as well. I can accept things and flow, like the stream, and not fight like the human I am. Life is so much more peace-filled! Thanks Kathy, always good to read your views, observations, and feelings.
    • Jul 21, 2021
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      Thanks so much, dear Rodney. You are right! Surrender is peace.
  • Katherine Hemmat
    Jul 12, 2021
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    Thank you Kathy! Your article spoke to me as well. When I was young I would ask God to help me in times of trouble. When I was 19 years old and found the Baha'i Faith I felt like he had answered me!
    • Jul 21, 2021
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      Definitely an answer to prayer, Katherine. Thanks very much for your comments.
  • May 10, 2017
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    Another great article Kathy. Both examples are full of wisdom and spirituality. God works in his way, which may not always be the way we want it. In the final example your reaction to his message was far more meaningful and spectacular. Not only did you get your sign but you learned another lesson that God wanted you to learn as well.
  • Apr 26, 2017
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    Thanks for all your Wonderful comments and insights, Rodney, Diane, Melanie, Jules, Charles and Adeeb! You inspire and uplift me and I am so grateful for such kind support and wisdom.
  • Apr 26, 2017
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    Kathy, well done article. I agree, as it says in the Hidden Words, "for everything there is a sign." most of the time we are not looking, or miss the ones placed in front of us, preoccupied with our own thoughts, or focused on how we want (must) do something, and not how god would do it. "We" does not cover all people of course, for the children see and flow with the signs easily. As in your article, we need to let that child-like realization that God is always with us, be our natural guide and succor.
  • Diane Samandi
    Apr 26, 2017
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    I love this! Thank you for expressing exactly what I feel.
  • Melanie Black
    Apr 25, 2017
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    Kathy, this was so inspiring. Long ago, I, too, did this so I can relate. I once asked God to show me the aurora borealis (northern lights), thinking that if I had perfect faith He would show them to me. For a whole year I waited. No northern lights. I wasn't as wise as you were, but now that I am older, I know not to ask God for things on demand. LOL.
  • Apr 25, 2017
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    Wonderful article. Another reminder there are signs and miracles all around us of God's love ?
  • Charles Boyle
    Apr 25, 2017
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    In Australia we used to run a short workshop activity called "Blue Chicken Dreaming":
    Participants pair up and seek to directly describe the colour blue or the taste of chicken, the sound of birdsong or the smell of spring flowers to eachother.
    After struggling for a while, they realise that they have to use metaphors or similies and comparisons with other experience.
    They learn that even if you cannot describe something does not mean it cannot exist, and also for this reason God manifests intangible spiritual knowledge known to us through His Divine Educators which is why they ...have a human experience so they can use metaphors and similies familiar to us.
    A really interesting activity for all.
    Read more...
  • Adeeb Afshar
    Apr 25, 2017
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    Absolutely loved this article!! Thank you so much Kathy! I always did (and sometimes do) the same thing when I was younger...but developing that Faith was the answer the whole time.
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