(These are excerpts from a recent sermon from Genesis 15)


A little over four years ago, I lost my wife in a car accident. The years since then have been very difficult, and the most difficult thing of all is that my son, Bryce, who was only about three months old when she died, has no memory of his mom.

She was an incredible mother. For those three months, it was wonderful just to watch her hold him. She was a natural in the way she took care of him, and it hurts my heart that he has no memory of her whatsoever.

I have no problem telling you that I have struggled with depression. Trying to cope with the fact that I’m a single dad is difficult. I feel a responsibility to try to give my son things my wife would’ve given him that I honestly just don’t know how to give. It really is tough and, to be honest with you, at times I find myself feeling lost. I find myself wondering who I really am. Am I even in the right place? Is this really what was supposed to happen in my life? Is this where I’m supposed to be? Am I even supposed to be in ministry any more? As all those natural questions come to mind, and as I ponder them, there are times that I get deeply depressed.

At those times I find myself just naturally wanting to ask God to give me some sort of sign. I think you probably know what I mean. There’s that feeling that you want God to do something just to give you some affirmation and confirmation that you’re in the right place and that everything is going to be fine.

I was in one of those really low spots a couple of years ago, and I was driving in town with my son in his car seat in the back. As we were driving along, I was desperate for God to give me some kind of sign. We were stopped at a stop light when, from the back seat, I heard, “Dad, I had a dream last night that I went to Heaven.” Well, of course that grabbed my attention, and I said, “Bryce, tell me about your dream. What was it like? What did you do?”

He said, “Well, I met Jesus. I sat in His lap, and He gave me candy. Dad, He’s a really nice guy.” I said, “I’ll bet He is!”

Then he said, “Dad, He sang me a song.”

Of course, there I was — at a low point and looking for a sign — so I couldn’t help but ask, “Bryce, what did He sing to you?

As I looked into his big eyes (his Mom’s eyes) in the rear view mirror, he looked back at me and began singing, “She’ll be comin’ ‘round the mountain when she comes!”

That was not quite the sign I had been looking for!


He Gives Signs

But I’m sure you can relate. It’s just natural to look for signs, right? I think God wired us to be the kind of people who look for them because, all through His Word, He gives signs. But He doesn’t just give signs randomly. They are always accompanied by covenants. For example:

• Eden — Back in the Garden of Eden, there was a really basic covenant — obey me or “dying, you shall surely die.” And the sign was the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. It was a visual to help them remember the covenant.

• Cain — After Cain sinned and killed his brother, Abel, God made a covenant with Cain because he was worried that somebody was going to try to inflict retribution on him. So God said, “Cain, I’m going to take care of you. I will curse anyone who tries to curse you.” Then He gave him a sign for that covenant by putting a mark on Cain — there was a covenant and there was a sign.

• Noah — Noah was given a very obvious sign. In the Noahic Covenant, God promised Noah, “I’ll never flood the earth like this again.” Then He gave him a rainbow in the sky to remind him of the covenant. Even today, every time we see a rainbow, we remember that covenant.


(continued in part 2)

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