I recall hearing that we should not place a comma where God has put a period. I think the reverse is probably equally true: do not place a period where God has put a comma. I was talking to a friend this week who commented that he’d been praying for God’s guidance and was experiencing only silence. Circumstances in life had lead to what appeared to be one of those proverbial forks in the road, or more appropriately an acute turn. As I considered the circumstances, it seemed to me that he was being impatient and feeling the need to make a decision when actually delaying making a decision made more sense.
As we talked about finding God’s will in the midst of silence, it occurred to me that one of the reasons we don’t hear from God is that we are straining to have Him confirm something within the narrow range of options that we have envisioned for ourselves when what He is intending to do is actually outside the scope of our vision. In such a case, it seems likely that He would just wait until we tire from our straining and are ready to really listen to Him. Sometimes we cling so tenaciously to the limited vision of what we can imagine. We have to get to the place that we’re willing to simply turn loose of our expectations and demands and be ready to accept God’s choice for us.
In a similar vein, sometimes we continue along a path long after God has directed us elsewhere. Perhaps we are afraid of change, perhaps we are willful in continuing to do that which pleases us or is easier to accomplish, or perhaps we just don’t hear the instructions. Whatever the reason, eventually, if we persist, we get to the place that we finally do have to acknowledge that we’ve gotten far from God’s leading. We should have accepted God’s period in our life instead of trying to operate with a comma, or worse, continuing headlong with disregard for God’s will.