A Period. Not a Comma

Recently, a friend of mine told me about a disappointment he faced when a project he had  invested years into, suddenly changed courses and appeared it was no longer going to come together. Our small group of friends gathered around to support and encourage him one morning, and I felt God say to me, “Don’t let him put a period where I intended a comma to be.”

Whoa! That’s a bold statement!

Did you know a comma is defined as “an author’s soft pause,” Man, that describes our God so well! God is the author of our lives, and when we look throughout the Bible, we can see His true character being one of love because He often puts a pause, or a second part, where we would have put an ending.

* Moses kills an Egyptian and is ruined…“period.” God says, “comma.” (Exodus 2)      * Caleb declares victory over land, but ten spies say NO WAY…“period.” God says, “comma.” (Num. 13)
* Martha says Lazarus is dead…“period.” Jesus says, “comma.” (John 11)
* Guard says Jesus is dead…“period.” God says, “comma.” (Matthew 27 & 28)

Why is it so hard to keep in mind that God’s commas are not always brief? Joshua had a 45-year “comma.” The impact of God’s holy punctuation is in our response. Look at this: “Joshua said, “Just as the LORD promised, he has kept me alive for forty-five years…so here I am today, eighty-five years old!” I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I am just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day.”
(Joshua 14:10-12)

Reading these scriptures and hearing these stories, we can see that our God loves showing us that He can (and will!) bust open our perceived closed doors and add a second part to what we thought was an ending. Do you have a dream that you believe has ended? Maybe it’s a hope of having children, leaving a legacy, finally retiring, having a relationship, gaining a new career or finding your niche in ministry.

I challenge you to ask yourself two questions: “Do I really want this?” and “Is God in this?”

If the answer is yes to both of those questions – wait upon the Lord (Psalm 27:14), seek His word for guidance (Romans 10:17), and prepare your heart for Him to move (John 5:14-15).

God loves you and has an excellent, well-thought out plan for your life. Remember, giving up on God is a tactic of the enemy. Don’t be tricked out of God’s best by giving up too quickly. Allow the commas (soft pauses) of God’s promises to fill your story today.
In His Service and at yours, ~ Shawn

Published by Shawn McCarthy

While serving as the Weekend Experience Pastor at Seacoast Church, I felt God prompting me to share the moments when He would speak His truth into my life through scripture in a way that made sense to me, giving me tangible ways to learn, grow and lead. These promptings turned into weekly emails that I would send my small groups and volunteer teams. I found myself enjoying the process of digging deeper into God’s Word, being stretched by the writing process, and encouraging others in the faith. My lovely wife, Anna, challenged me to begin this blog, so these moments that I have come to call, my “Red-Letter Moments,” can find a home. My prayer is that you will find hope, comfort, and inspiration here, and above all, you will come to know that the God of the universe loves you and desires a personal relationship with you.”

17 thoughts on “A Period. Not a Comma

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