Sign, Sign … Everywhere a Sign

March 18, 2011 | 16 comments

I used to resent God’s rules. They struck me as out-of-date and out-of-fashion, ancient and rusty.

I thought God was a fun-hater.

“Sign, sign everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind
Do this, don’t do that
Can’t you read the sign?”

Sure, I could read the sign. But I did a lot of dumb things anyway.

Scratch that.

I do a lot of dumb things.

I’m Jennifer Dukes Lee — the girl whose spiritual journey looks more like a stumble than a faith walk. As I limp down this path, I’m the one with toilet paper stuck to her shoe. And — thanks be to God — I am being changed, day by day.

Reformata et Semper Reformanda. Reforming and ever-reforming.

I know who I am — both saint and sinner. I belong to Jesus, but I’m also a carrier of a fatal disease: a fallen human nature.

Yeah, I need roadside signs. Give me billboards, the neon-flashing kind.

I find the signs on the gilded pages, in the leather-bound cover of the Bible — 66 different books, 1,189 chapters and 33,173 verses. Sign after sign after sign.

Speed Limit.
Exit ahead.
Even this: Scenic Overlook!

Those aren’t the signs of an iron-fisted Ruler. They are the signs of a sacrificial Savior.

What if we saw the signs not as punishment, but as evidence of grace? What if we saw the signs as a way of producing order in the chaos?

The One who erected the signs knows what lurks in the ditches, and what is waiting just around the bend. The subscript of every sign — every sign! — is this:

I. Love. You.

Whether you turn to the right or to the left,
your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying,
“This is the way; walk in it.”
— Isaiah 30:21

“The truth is, of course, that the curtness of the Ten Commandments is an evidence, not of the gloom and narrowness of a religion, but, on the contrary, of its liberality and humanity. It is shorter to state the things forbidden than the things permitted: precisely because most things are permitted, and only a few things are forbidden.”
— G.K. Chesterton

by | March 18, 2011 | 16 comments


  1. Zee

    I laughed when I came to "Scenic Overlook!" Considering God's sense of humor, I can easily imagine that kind of "sign" 😀

  2. Nancy

    I love me a good Chesterton quote! So true–most things are permitted, and only a few things are forbidden. Facebooking this one, oh toilet paper-wearing friend!

  3. Megan Willome

    Your post makes me think of a sign hikers see a lot, though it isn't written–cairns. Previous hikers leave little stone piles to tell new hikers, "This is the way. Walk ye in it!" Those cairns have saved me from going too far astray many a time.

  4. S. Etole

    That quote is just the best … as is your writing.

  5. Shirl


  6. Linda

    You so often perfectly write my own heart Jennifer. I am the one step forward, two steps backward girl. Always have been, but I keep plodding along because His grace compels me. There is something so natural within us that wants to resist those rules, but it is just as you have said – they are there to do us good not to harm us.
    Wonderful Jennifer!

  7. Lyla Lindquist

    I keep coming back to this today.

    Imagining what it would be like had He not loved enough to put up the signs.

  8. Deidra

    I know I tend to wander, but how much further off track would I be without those signs/cairns He leaves along the way?

  9. Beth E.

    Shew…lately, I seem to be dealing with "Fog Ahead". 😉

    Great post, sis!

  10. Amy Sullivan

    How could I not sing the beginning of your post?

    Oh, I'm the girl fumbling around with toilet paper on my shoe as well. I can relate.

  11. Lyn

    Love it – I'm also a reforming & ever re-forming.

  12. travelmom

    So good! Yes, we need the signs! Thanks again Jennifer for being honest.

  13. Jeanne Damoff

    This is so true, Jennifer. God is good in what He forbids. It's the simple truth that gets lost in all the accusations of intolerance or legalism. God is GOOD in what He forbids. Not mean. Not a fun hater. His rules are love, protection, and provision. What makes us think we know better than God how to live an abundant life? Oh, to grace how great a debtor.

    Love to you, dear. And happy weekend.

  14. Vilisi@islandmusings

    Hello Jennifer. I chanced upon your blog this morning and just wanted to say that I enjoyed your post. I can so relate …so many mistakes, yet so much grace…

  15. jasonS

    One of my favorite verses and I love that Chesterton quote too. It's all about our perspective. If we accept His love for us, we'll understand it's everywhere, even in the posted signs. Great post, Jennifer. Thank you.

  16. Connie@raise your eyes

    So I was going to comment, but then Lyla and Jason said everything for me!


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