It seemed foolish really, at first. Earlier this year, God laid it on my heart that our team should go to the outskirts of town to a gas station and lay our hands on the big neon sign you can see from highway, and pray that God would use it for His glory.
This sign has, for the last 4 + years, since I moved here, lit up the skies with the word “DIES”. It should read “DIESEL” but the last two letters blew out and so it just sits there, ironically and sadly proclaiming death over this little town. Seems silly, just a burnt out sign, but one that so many have noticed. I just had a thought that maybe like the “high places” of yore that the prophets and kings often took down in the Old Testament, something needed to be done about this sign, that it would no longer proclaim “Death” over Cairo. To many people, I reakon, including myself about 2 years ago, this would seem like an absurdity. Why would God call you to pray over a stupid sign, it doesn’t mean anything. But the Old Testament is full of people doing absurd things at the instruction of the Lord, so why not us? I bit the bullet, and our whole team went and prayed over the sign.
With great faith, i thought the lights would come up all of a sudden, or the sign would grow dim. But nothing happend. For months. Nothing happened. I began to feel a little bit like an idiot. Maybe this was all in my head, just a silly whim, just a fantastical hunch. Maybe God really doesn’t work this way anymore, maybe He’s really not the same as He always was and always will be. Ill just add this to the list of things I made up in my head, that God would actually at the sound of our prayers erase this proclamation of “Death” over Cairo.
So on Wednesday this week, I was heading to the gym, already in a state of spiritual frustration. Running through things in my life I still had to lay down to Him, grieving things He was asking me to give up for this time. Frustrated by how foolish my life looks to man, frustrated that I cared a flip what my life looked like to man. Desperate to see Him move, desperate to see answers to two years of crying out for a community I still don’t know how to love. Desperate and weeping. I drove by the sign, and cried out in my weakness, “And then there’s the sign – would you flipping do something about that sign, Lord?!! I know it’s silly, but I don’t think you want this sign to say “DIES” over Cairo anymore – so do something!!”
I go to the gym and get lost in swimming through my emotions.
I drive back into town in the evening, now dark and look over my shoulder as I exit the highway to see that big familiar sign.
But I don’t see it.
I can’t see it.
Because after 4 + years, the entire sign is now out.
Forgive my unbelief. I welcome the absudities of following You, Lord. It may look foolish to man, but this is life to me. This is reality to me. You are worthy of my foolishness.