Signs

…“Teacher,
we want to see
a miraculous sign from you.”
(Matthew 12:38)

I must confess that I do not understand the differences, if they do indeed exist, between miracles, signs and wonders. To me, every miracle seems to be a wondrous sign, every sign to be a miraculous wonder and every wonder to be a miraculous sign. Whatever its form, every bit of attention that God pays us is a miraculous cause for celebration, verifying God’s presence and bringing to mind His powerful love that is work in our lives.

God, Who never misses a trick, never misses an opportunity to show Himself at work in our lives ether. By His Hand, we are enabled to see His involvement even in the things that may seem mundane or trivial to most of the world, causing them often to be overlooked and pushed aside as unimportant.

But nothing is trivial in God’s Hands, not even numbers. In fact, numbers must be important to God because they appear frequently throughout the Bible. Numbers have also become increasingly important to me, as God has been using them as signposts to point out His presence in my life. Those signposts have increased my awareness of God, and that, after all, is the purpose of every miracle, sign and wonder.

My adventure with God involving numbers began with my awareness that I was repeatedly seeing the number 444 with increasing frequency. By “seeing,” I don’t mean visions or images in my head. I mean actually seeing the number 444 when I happened to look at a clock, the microwave timer or the counter on the DVD player, just to name a of few places where it would appear.

I don’t wear a watch, and being retired, I am not a clock-watcher. So I actually have relatively few opportunities throughout each day for me to see numbers. Yet day after day, I would notice the number 444 somewhere.

It didn’t take long for curiosity to get the better of me, and I soon found myself searching the internet for the number 444. I wanted to know if the number had any particular Biblical significance that might relate to my life. But when I began reading some of the information that the search produced in relation to angelic beings, I quickly concluded that the information sounded too New Age and non-Scriptural for my liking. Refusing to go that route in my thinking, I closed the search page, deciding that the number 444 had no more substance than what mathematics says.

But while I had decided not to give the number another thought, my decision did not stop the number from continuing to show up throughout both my days and nights. In fact, 444 began showing up with an even greater frequency than it had done previously. Not only that, but I began seeing other triple digit numbers as well, often as many as four, five or six times a day.

Even so, I still did not want to give any of the numbers more significance than what they were due. But as the numbers continued appearing at various times and places every day, I could not help but wonder again if there wasn’t more to the numbers than what met the eye.

At that point, I wondered if God was using the numbers to point me toward a particular verse in the Bible. So I looked up numerous chapters and verses, all based on triple digits, but found no one verse that seemed any more significant than any other one. They were all important.

All the while, the triple digits continued appearing every day with increasing regularity, no matter where I was and no matter what I was doing. For example, I would get up from working at my computer to see a time of 1:11 on the kitchen clock. The next time that I would get up, the time would be 2:22. Or I would wake up in the middle of the night at 3:33, only to wake up the next time at 5:55. Or I would turn on the ignition switch in the car to have the dashboard clock flash 4:44. Or I would walk down our stairs to see the keypad for our security system display a time of 1:11, when it was an hour off and every other clock in the house read 2:11.

The triple digit numbers continued appearing, and they continue to appear to this day, in every conceivable place that numbers exist, popping up when least expected with a frequency that is beyond statistical probability. Sometimes when I see them, I point them out to my husband. But most of the time, I just smile.

Over time, the numbers have slowly but surely become a source of comfort to me, a sign of God’s ever-presence, despite my lack of understanding concerning both them and God. In the midst of both daily routine and difficult struggles, the numbers appear to say, “All is okay. God is here, and He is in control.” If the numbers have any other significance, then I have missed it. But for me, the comfort that they provide is more than sufficient. I don’t need the numbers  to be any more than what they are: God’s Signposts.

My awareness of these numbers may understandably seem strange to many people. Had other people been in my position, they may never have taken notice of the numbers in the way that I did. But I did, and so the question is “Why?” The question is the proverbial “chicken and egg” dilemma: Did God begin showing the numbers to me because He knew that I would notice them? Or did He decide to begin using them because I was noticing them?

In the end, it doesn’t really matter which came first, it matters only that God makes Himself known in innumerable ways. Nothing is beyond His ability, and no one is beyond His interest.

One day early in my numbers experience, I shared an account of the recurring numbers with my friends from my Friday morning group. One of the ladies later relayed to the rest of us that the following day while she was filling her car’s gas tank, she recalled my story about the numbers.

Incorrectly remembering the triple digits as doubles, she said to herself, “I wonder if God can do double digits at gas pumps, too?” Then, as she finished pumping the gas, she turned around to read $19.19 on the gas pump. God not only could do doubles at the pump, but He did so, catching my friend’s attention.

Did God give her the thought to match the price to come, or did He stop the pumping to match her thought? Who knows? God’s ways are beyond our ways. When I have been in places where numbers could not be seen, God has had people speak triple digit numbers to me, ever confirming His presence and control. And that is precisely to where every Sign from God points: to God.