Putting a Period Where God Puts a Comma

A couple of weeks ago I received a review copy of Mark Batterson’s new book, Whisper. I’ve had the opportunity to read several of his books including The Circle Maker. Any of his books that I have read have proved helpful.  While I still need to finish Whisper, there have been a number of things I’ve highlighted and earmarked.

The subtitle of the book is How to Hear the Voice of God and Batterson writes about different voices that God uses to speak to us.

In one particular chapter I read this phrase: We put a period where God puts a comma.  Batterson is writing about doors that God opens and closes as we seek to know what He wants us to do.  He remarks that we interpret a closed-door from God to be a “no” when perhaps what God is saying is “not yet.”

As I read this particular chapter, I thought about our adoption experience.  Like many, we’ve had a number of starts and stops on the way (I’ve shared some of our experience in previous posts.)  We actually waited close to two years between potential adoptions.  Our son Eli is four and a half months old as I write this and we weren’t sure God wanted us to adopt again.  We had a feeling that perhaps that door was marked “closed.”

As it turns out, God was just saying, “Not yet.”  Things fell into place at the right time and we have added another little boy to our family.

Back to the chapter from Whisper, I think we were interpreting a “no” instead of a “not yet.”  Perhaps Batterson’s insight a page later in the chapter described us fairly well:  “Simply put, we want what we want when we want it, and usually we want it now.”

While there is no formula for hearing the voice of God, this chapter was a good reminder that what we perceive as a closed-door could be more of a delay than shut forever.  Because while most of us are by nature impatient, it may be that God is waiting for a better time or better situation or even a better us.

As I was looking back at the posts regarding our son’s adoption, I ran across this quote:  What God originates He orchestrates.

I think we are always learning how to understand and hear the voice of God.  No one has it perfected.  In the process this chapter was a good reminder to me that listening at times means waiting.

Granted, sometimes God tells us, “No,” – just like we do with our children – but there is also the potential for God saying, “Not yet.” Because He sees more, knows more and in control, we need to keep our ear tuned to Him.

When He does open the door, it can be a beautiful thing.

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