Have you ever received text messages or emails without punctuation marks??? I hate trying to decipher the intended message. It’s hard enough to understand ‘written’ words without the tone of voice and without the body language – after all one doesn’t know if “that’s ok” is said in a soft, empathetic way or whether uttered out loud and clear contradicting the words! Just imagine then, a message without punctuation marks.
The comma for a little pause, the full stop which says it all, the question mark, the semi colon and of course my favourite …… yup.. the dot dot dot… The space after a paragraph…
Not only that, like the image depicts, the punctuation placed in the same sentence in different places can give us a different message altogether!! The same words, the same order but punctuation marks placed differently!!!
It’s funny though, we want life to be a flow without any obstacles nor trials… but when it comes to the written word, we want all the punctuation marks in place to help us get the message!!! A sentence, a paragraph, a page, a chapter, a book – nothing would make sense without all these ‘delays’ in words!
Likewise with life.. it’s the delays, the obstacles, the trials, the negatives that add meaning to life. We learn to appreciate the good stuff when we go through the bad stuff. We start to appreciate people during the time of need. In fact, we also get to know who our true friends are during time of need – who will go all out and who will give real reasons and who will make excuses… We grow in our personalities and become less judgmental and more empathetic through our troubles. We learn to trust in God more and more when we have reached the end of our tether. We begin to deepen our relationship with God through the waiting… we begin to develop our faith then…
We need the punctuation marks in the written world as well as in real life!!! Life needs to make sense. Some space is required after the paragraph. Likewise our bodies need the rest.
One chapter has to end – whether there is excitement, thrill, sadness, joys, love, laughter… whatever it is, it has to end. Then the next chapter begins. Such with life. A sour or abusive relationship ends, then there is the possibility of a loving relationship taking place.
When our hands are full by clutching onto something, God cannot give us the new thing He has for us,
as our hands are unable to open up and receive it.
A chapter has to become an ‘old’ chapter, for a new one to begin. And before anyone gets any twisted ideas here, let me clarify something!!!
In the book of marriage, the chapters are the stages of the marriage, not the marriage in itself…
There is a time for everything under the sun – just as the writer of Ecclesiastes writes… There is a time to love, a time to hate, a time to embrace, a time to refrain….
The fact is more often than not, we want everything else to comfort us… We lean into our comfort zone (language, culture, traditions, family values, wealth etc) and expect them to be fulfilling… We are unable to be satisfied with Him and what He gives… We overlook His love, His holding us through, His provision… His divine purpose and plan….
We want the unobstructed flow of the book of life without realising that
its punctuation marks is what gives meaning and new perspectives.
However the good part to it all, is that God is there with us through it all. Through the storms, He gives us His peace (Philippians 4:17)that transcends all understanding (if we will turn to Him that is) and even as Jesus tells us that we will have troubles in our lives (John 16:33), He has promised that He will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:8). He dwells in us, who believe in Him (1 Corinthians 3:16). He has left behind the comforter and counsellor, The Holy Spirit… God tells us that He upholds us in His righteous right hand, that He will be with us, that He strengthens us, that He helps us (Isaiah 41:10). …. He makes it clear that He will comfort us and that with the comfort we receive from Him, we will reach out to others and comfort Him (2 Corinthians 1:4).
What more can we ask?
Or even worse, the acidic question is, we know these scriptures but do we truly believe them? Because if we did, we would be joyful on the count of trials and troubles and struggles in our lives!! Ouch!! Well, I’m not speaking for you here, but I know I can say I have fallen short big time… I know His Word, but more often than not let my feelings and emotions and fear of unknown rule over me when I see the punctuation marks of the book of life!
Let’s start counting the blessings of each punctuation mark in the book of life…
Let’s allow God to give us the rest and to end old chapters and to begin new ones…
Let’s start giving thanks for all these…
Let’s start asking God to help us see the silver lining in each cloud!!