You’ve probably heard it said that we shouldn’t “place a period where God has placed a comma.” I’ve taken this to mean that we should leave God room to work, let the story continue, rather than declaring it the end because the circumstance seems uncomfortable or maybe even impossible. And what a great reminder that is, to give God room to do what only He can do.


But oh how hard it can be to allow God to “punctuate” our lives.


Peter sure found this hard to do! Just look at John 21. He followed Jesus for 3 and a half years, then in John 21, after Christ was crucified and everything suddenly made less sense, we see Peter go right back to the very thing Jesus called him out of. John 21 is Peter placing a period where Jesus placed a comma.


And why did he do this? Because it got uncomfortable, it got uncertain and Peter didn’t see where the story could go from where it was. So he threw a period at the end of that sentence and called the story done. Now as we know, the story did not end there. Peter went on to live out what came after the comma in the book of Acts.


As hard as it can be to refrain from placing periods where God has placed commas, I have found that it can be just as difficult to refrain from putting commas where God put periods.


There have been doors God closed, relationships He’s ended, circumstances He’s settled – places He put periods that I tried to change to commas. Because I wanted that door open, I wasn’t ready for that relationship to end, I want to keep living in that hurt – I wasn’t ready to put a period at the end of those sentences. Ever been there?


What I’m reminded of time and time again is that punctuating my life is not my responsibility. Quite frankly, it’s humbling to continually realize that I am ill-equipped to do so. How can I be in charge of placing commas and periods within a story I don’t know all of yet?


Whether God places a period or a comma; and whether I think it should’ve been a period or comma, my heart clings to this verse while I continue walking where He leads:


Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.”
[John 13:7]


I hope you stay encouraged by that promise!


~ Alyssa