This post will undoubtedly seem strange to some.
Since Christ grabbed me in 1997, I cannot count the number of times God has shown me things through physical circumstances. Either my heart will be prompted to look at something, or something will be shoved in my face, so to speak.
Thinking about the number of clues in a single circumstance and and/or the timing of what is being shown, I realize “this is a God thing” and pay special attention. The start of this ministry, for example, involved God showing me what I needed to do via a movie poster of all things.
This past Saturday morning I had been working in the garden, pulling weeds and harvesting peppers, tomatoes and zucchini. I came into rest around midday and have some water and lunch. I felt tired, so I rested on the couch and drifted in and out of sleep for a little while.
I had also been asking God that morning if he might tell me when the Second Signpost might begin or how much time we have remaining? Do we have days, weeks, or years? He answered. As always when my God shows up with provision or teaching, it’s always in new and surprising ways.
In the early afternoon I was ready to go back outside to work. I stood up and turned to look out the picture window in the living room. I couldn’t believe my eyes. For a second or two, my brain wrestled with the strange sight out on our front lawn. Wow, it was a bear!
It wasn’t a big bear, maybe a yearling, but it was black, and stocky, and looked like trouble.
It was sauntering up our front lawn at an angle to the house, in my direction inside the window, maybe forty to fifty feet away. If it had continued on, was it going to go for the chicken coop behind the house? I yelled at it through an opening to go away. The bear stopped in its tracks, looking at me.
Being a smaller bear, I realized I might be able to chase it away. Sure enough, it ran away, hopping our yard fence and taking off across our meadow before disappearing down into the creek bed.
(I called and told my wife about it. She asked if I had taken a picture. But taking a picture was the last thing on my mind. Now I regret it because not only could my wife see the bear, but it would have made a good photo for this post!)
“What was that about?” I wondered. I live in an area that is supposedly visited by bears routinely but we have not encountered one living here on the Front Range now for over five years.
First, in all my years I had never seen a bear in the wild—only at zoos. Through all my camping trips in my younger years, and driving in remote places, I’ve never seen a bear. And now, on August 3rd of 2019, I see a bear, and at my house, in my yard!?!
Second, it was a yearling; not a big bear that could harm me. It was maybe two-and-a-half feet at the shoulder, and two feet wide. But it was stocky, with thick black fur.
Lastly, and most importantly, God was answering my prayer as I rested on the couch. When might the Second Signpost begin, or how much time do we have remaining? He gave me his answer.
It dawned on me while I was back outside thinking about the event, the Second Signpost is represented by the bear in Daniel 7. And though my bear was likely much smaller than the enormous beast that was like a bear that Daniel saw, “my” bear also represented the Second Signpost. The bear will wander, sauntering, eating and wrecking things (like Prov. 28:15).
The first time I saw a bear in my entire life even out here on the Front Range for five years, was in the hour or two after I prayed. My prayer was being answered. The bear was close. The bear was approaching in my direction, towards me. The bear somehow seemed menacing for its size—it wasn’t scrawny but seemed powerfully built and well fed for its size.
After realizing these things, the prompting inside told me that the Second Signpost, likewise, is close. Out of all the distance it had been approaching down the mountainside, over the hills, and up our meadow, the bear was close. And it was moving when I saw it, sauntering, walking slowly, headed my way. Likewise, the bear of Daniel 7 can be thought of as starting its life in 1979, the year the Iranian regime came into being. After forty years of growing and being made ready, it is about to be given its command.
So here is the end of the matter.
Question: “How close is the Second Signpost, Lord? How much time do we have?”
Answer: “The Second Signpost is close, and approaching, at a sauntering speed.
I also realized I had time to act to avert trouble before it reached the house at the moment I was watching, looking out the window. I didn’t have much time, maybe thirty seconds. But I was able to get done what I needed to get done by acting quickly.