“I don’t have time for this!” I told the nurse. She did not respond to my outburst. The MRI revealed no sign of injury, but the intense pain in my right shoulder suggested otherwise. I knew the moment I sprinted with two 30-pound kettlebells in hand that my days as a CrossFit athlete were over. The audible vibration of tissue ripping from its internal anchor was deafening as was my scream; nevertheless, tests said I was fine.
The doctor gave me two options: do nothing or undergo exploratory surgery. The latter, he warned, came with no guarantee. The odds were stacked against me, I thought as I turned the ignition switch and left the clinic parking lot. To make matters worse, a decision had to be made by the end of the day or risk being placed on a 6-month waiting list. What was I supposed to do?
The drive to work was a half-hour from the clinic, and I spent every minute of the commute asking God what to do. My inquiry was met with silence. I grew anxious as my office building came into view just beyond the approaching overpass. Suddenly I cried out, “Lord, please show me a sign of whether or not I should have this surgery.” The answer appeared just beyond the overpass. I had to swerve to avoid hitting it. It was a bright orange, diamond-shaped construction sign in the middle of the road that said Shoulder Work Ahead.
I do not know what prompted me to ask for a sign. I grew up believing that asking God to provide answers through such tangible means meant I lacked faith. Looking back on that day, however, I do not see a woman lacking in faith. Rather, I see a woman clothed in wisdom who believed the promise of Jesus as written in John 15:7. I see a woman of humility, who, with a pure heart and clean motive, sought guidance from the only One with the answer. And I see a trusting little girl, laughing uncontrollably at her Daddy’s clever sense of humor in giving her a gift – the one thing she asked for – an unmistakable sign.
The purpose of John 15:7 is to remind us of the significance of maintaining a close relationship with Jesus. It is about immersing ourselves in His teachings through the Scriptures and praying according to God’s will. When we are closely connected to Christ and align our desires with His teachings, our prayers will be in line with God’s purposes, and He will answer them according to His perfect plan.
Two weeks later, I had exploratory surgery. As it turned out, the MRI was wrong. A labrum tear was identified as the cause of my pain. If I had stuck to my belief that I was too busy and chose option one (do nothing), I would have caused irreversible damage. The same would have been true had I not asked God to show me what to do. I cannot help but smile when I drive by one of those orange, diamond-shaped construction signs. It serves as a reminder that God loves us so much that He is willing to give us a sign if we slow down, trust him – and simply ask.
Scripture Reading: John 15:7 NIV
If you remain in me and my words remain in you ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:7 NIV
Dear Lord, I come before you today with a heart full of gratitude for the blessings in my life and a humble spirit. Please help me to slow down and listen for Your voice when seeking Your guidance. Lord, your word says if I remain in You and Your words remain in me, that I can ask You and it will be done according to Your will. Lord, I ask You to grant me a sign, a gentle whisper, or a clear indication of Your will in the matter that weighs heavy on my mind. Help me to recognize Your guidance amidst the noise of life. As I await Your sign, grant me patience, trust, and unwavering faith. Help me to rest in the knowledge that You are always with me, guiding me, and that Your love and grace surround me. May Your will be done in my life and in this situation. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.