By Melanie Mar Chow
When it is time to follow God, you will know. Not only does God call, but He makes it clear that He is calling you, and be forewarned if you ask for a sign.
When I decided to follow God into leadership, I was invited to attend a conference while I was in seminary. I was to go to northern California — Marin County, to be exact — in February, during the very rainy season.
But one of my co-workers was getting married and I really didn’t want to miss their wedding, so I decided to ask God to determine if I was to go. I told God I would buy a ticket, but being that I was a seasoned Southwest Airlines flyer, I had the option of canceling my flight last minute without consequence. So I was ready. But the rain poured the entire night before I was to leave, thundering and lightning all night.
I told my hubby that I would only go if there was a sense of peace and God’s provision to go. So I packed the wedding gift, ate a quick breakfast and told my friends I was making the drive to Oakland airport, 2 hours away. Well as I walked up to my car, I was amazed: there was a sun spot on my car, I kid you not. Yes, there was still rain, but it was beginning to break. So with the sun on my car, I got in and began driving, still open to turning around at any time. But the weirdest thing happened — I could see the cars coming towards me with their wipers on and I could see the people behind me using their wipers, but it was dry wherever I was driving; like in the Bible with the cloud that the Israelites followed. All the way to Oakland airport, it was sunny wherever I was.
Then upon landing in LA, it WAS pouring but Bruce drove me to the wedding where we had a good time, and then after the reception he drove me back to the airport. Rain was scheduled, but again upon arriving in Oakland, it was dry. So I drove off and sure enough, same scenario. Clear skies over me, but ahead of me there was rain and behind me, rain. I finished the last two days of the retreat and was thankful for God’s provision and encounter.
People think I’m crazy when I tell these stories, but the awestruck wonder of life is such that if only we would take the time to spend and wait upon God to show us more of who He is, it is there. I am grateful that God shows Himself to me in the wonderment of things that take time to see: the small things of life, such as a clownfish in a bowl, the penny on the street that the crowds in front of me walked by, the just-barely-still-warm chocolate chip that fell out of the last cookie that begs to be eaten, and the list goes on. Maybe one day I’ll blog about the wonderful list of crazy things that come daily, weekly, or whenever me and God hang out. What things will You add to my list, God? This is all music to God’s ears.
Rev. Melanie Mar Chow serves God through Asian American Christian Fellowship, the campus ministry division of the Japanese Evangelical Missionary Society (JEMS). She has been an ordained American Baptist minister since 2004. A Pacific Northwest native, she currently lives with her husband and daughter in Southern California.