Signs of Favor

Jon Opgenorth

Read: Exodus 4:3-9

That they may believe . . . (v. 5)

We are all like Moses is some ways. When God’s task grows beyond our ability and questions and doubts fill our head, we ask God to “show [us] a sign of your favor” (Ps. 86:17). If we’re honest, who of us wouldn’t mind the kind of big, dramatic signs that God gave to Moses. Three signs of undeniable favor: his staff becomes a snake, his hand becomes leprous, and water is transformed into blood. All so “that they may believe” (v. 5).

In my first weeks as the new president at Words of Hope, I wanted a big sign. Moving away from 24 years of pastoral ministry to leading a mission organization was a big change, personally and professionally. I was filled with insecurity, anxiety, and fear. I wanted a big sign. I got a text message. My wife, Ann, wrote simply, “May your day be full of surprises.” Shortly after, the parents of a friend called me to share how joyful they were that I was taking this step of faith and that God had laid on their hearts to support the work. Staff into snake? Leprous hand? Water into blood? Nothing that dramatic. But a small sign of God’s favor? Undoubtedly.

We cannot ignore the small signs. The waters of baptism are a small, simple sign. Likewise, the bread and the wine of the Lord’s Supper. Big signs or small, they turn our eyes to the one who is with us, even as he calls us to help with big tasks. —Jon Opgenorth

Prayer: Thank you, Lord, for the signs of your favor.