Magazine Article

The Billboard

“He turned to me and heard my cry” (Ps. 40:1, NLT).*

Judith Gillis
The Billboard
Photo by Charlie Deets on Unsplash

Winter dusk was closing in as I drove out for a few quick errands. My day had been one of solitude, tears, and prayers about the difficult circumstances in my life at the moment. Challenges that seemed unremitting despite my prayers for God to intervene and bring resolution.

As I drove, I felt so weary. It seemed as if God were a thousand miles away. “Lord, please send some comfort to me tonight,” I whispered. “Make Your message so big and real that I can’t miss it. Put it on a billboard for me!” I admit my prayer seemed silly and shallow, but in my dispirited frame of mind, it was the best I could do.

Jesus says ask. Unadorned, simple, straightforward. Ask. I asked. He answered. Driving back home a short while later, I rounded the corner to my street and slowed to pull into the driveway. Lo and behold, the illuminated sign on the church across the road read, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28, KJV). Big bold black letters on their billboard! I couldn’t miss it! Nobody could!

Thankfully, no cars were behind me, because I slowed to a crawl and read it again. There were the very words of comfort I so desperately needed. On a billboard and lit up like a Christmas tree!

It took only a moment for my gloomy mood to vanish and for praise to fill my heart. You need a bigger-than-life billboard answer from God? Ask! Just ask! He’s more than able to answer! I know!

* * *

Postscript: The very next day workers took the billboard down and replaced it with a sign that read “Faith Center Church.” I discovered the new sign was meant to be in place a month earlier, but had arrived damaged and had to be returned for a replacement. In the meantime the old sign emblazoned with Jesus’ words was left in place. Their fancy, new sign came the day after my prayer.

“Ask, and ye shall receive” (John 16:24, KJV).

* Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.

Judith Gillis

Judith Gillis is retired and writes from Kernersville, North Carolina, where she is an enthusiastic newly baptized member of the Kernersville Seventh-day Adventist Church.