Don’t Place a Period Where God Has Placed a Comma

Toward the end of her life as she penned her final love letter to her husband, George Burns, famed comedienne Gracie Allen wrote, “Never place a period where God has placed a comma.” Another way of putting the thought behind what Gracie Allen wrote is, “Don’t put God in a box!” When things look bad, when we are facing a crisis of some sort, our reaction, based on our human way of thinking, can quite often be resignation, defeat, or hopelessness. We don’t see any way out of the circumstance or crisis we are in and we’re ready to give up. And, truth be told, if it depended on our own human strength, it would be right to look at it that way. But in Ephesians 3:20, Scripture tells us that God is “able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” We can’t, but God can! God can place a comma where we would place a period.

In Mark’s gospel, we read about Jairus, a leader of the synagogue, whose daughter has fallen gravely ill. Jairus went to Jesus to plead with Him, asking Jesus to come and lay hands on his daughter so that she could live (Mark 5:22-23). Jesus went with Jairus but, on the way to Jairus’ home, messengers arrived with the news that Jairus’ daughter was dead and told Jairus that there was no use troubling Jesus with this now. The girl was dead. Period. Hearing this, Jesus told them not to be afraid but to have faith (Mark 5:35-36). In other words, erase that period from the end of the sentence and replace it with a comma.

Jesus continued on His way to the home of Jairus. Arriving there and seeing much commotion and weeping, Jesus went inside and asked, “Why all this commotion and weeping? The child isn’t dead; she’s only asleep.” The crowd of people just laughed at Him. They were basically saying, “Look, Jesus, we know the difference between someone being dead or asleep, and this young girl is dead. Period!” But Jesus knew that God had not placed a period on this girl’s life but a comma. He went in to the room where the dead girl lay, held her hand and said, “Little girl, get up!” The girl immediately got up and began walking around (Mark 5:38-42).

When a crisis has you ready to throw in the towel, when you are feeling defeated or hopeless, don’t look at your own human limitations, or the limitations of others. Look at the limitlessness of God. Remember that what may be impossible for you is not impossible for God. With God everything is possible (Mark 10:27). Don’t place a period where God has placed a comma.

Scripture quotations 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.

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