“Get Back Up; God’s Still With You”


Church signs and license plates aren’t messages from God … or are they? This one was just right to encourage me today.

I try to avoid taking church signs as signs from God. It’s like relying on anecdotal evidence instead of research. You tend to notice whatever reinforces your existing viewpoint, so the evidence you see keeps stacking up “in your favor,” even though what’s “in your favor” isn’t the evidence itself but “the evidence you see.”

Still, I’ve been seeing a lot of church signs and license plates lately that tell me I’m on the right track, that things are going to keep getting better. Like the one I saw this morning, when I was driving friends from the airport to their son’s home about 90 miles from here:

“Get back up. God’s still with you.”

I hadn’t actually let myself collapse but the morning had managed to be a bit of a downer, even before I met their 8:31 a.m. flight.

Encouraged by a surprising invitation: A sign?

About 10 days ago, my husband and I were quite encouraged to receive an invitation to jury for a craft show. Since we began our line of handcrafted jewelry early this year and hadn’t expected to hit market until late summer, this was quite a surprise. We could tell that the show was attempting to fill open vendor spaces and knew it would be a rush to complete our exhibit in time. Still, we took it as a sign from God that we were moving in the right direction.

Last night, I got an email notifying us that we were in. We were thrilled and ready to strap in for a little more than two weeks of full-tilt preparations so our exhibit and handcrafted jewelry would be ready by the April 5 show date.

We’re in! We’re out … We’re out.

Then, this morning, I found an email offering the show host’s regrets.

By the time I was able to backtrack through the messages on my phone after I dropped off my friends. I could see that the sponsors had sent regrets, then accidentally sent a message indicating we were in, then sent a second message of regrets. Unfortunately, because I checked email last night before they sent the second “regrets” I didn’t see it — and I was too excited about the invitation to notice the “regrets” that had preceded it.

It’s disappointing, no question.

Did we misread the signs?

But I’m not sure we’ve misread the signs.

After all, we were invited to jury for a show six months before we planned to hit our first show. As we have prepared for that anticipated show, six months out, we’ve had longtime friends who sell handcrafted garden art show us the ropes and introduce us to people they know in the industry. We’ve met two marketplace vendors who have expressed interest in carrying our work.

Maybe we’re reading the signs just fine and it’s simply not the time. Maybe right now it’s just time to “get back up” because “God is still with us.”

How do you deal with “signs” that seem to contradict your experience? Do you bother with “signs” at all?

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About Carlene Hill Byron

The former editor of New England Church Life and The New England Christian, Carlene Hill Byron is enjoying being home in Maine after 20 years in North Carolina. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild. Find her at christianpurposeblog.wordpress.com, churchandmentalillness.wordpress.com and on Facebook at MyHouseHasHistory.
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