Semicolon (;)

A friend posted an article on Facebook recently. I don’t have the time to read all the articles posted but this one caught my eye. A young girl had struggled with depression and shared her story. She talked about a semicolon and gave this definition:

“A semicolon is a place in a sentence where the author has the decision to stop with a period, but chooses not to. A semicolon is a reminder to pause and then keep going.”

I am wrapping up my study on Ruth and Esther and couldn’t help but think that The Author (God is not mentioned in either book but we know He is there!) could have put a period in their stories many times. Yet, He chooses to use the semicolon. Both of these godly women had times to pause and then decide to keep going.

Ruth could have gone home. Period. She could have gone with Naomi and been miserable. Period. She could have been content to just survive. Period. But the Author used the semicolon and her life moved forward, so much so that Jesus lineage can be traced back to Ruth. What if she stopped?

Esther could have been a drama queen. Period. She could have spoken to the king on behalf of her people once, not twice. Period. She could have been happy sparing her own neck. Period. Rather she intervened and saved a nation. The Author used a semicolon yet again. There will always be a remnant of the Jews but Esther’s pleas for her people saved many, many lives. What if she had stopped?

You and I have our stories. The Author is writing it all out. We don’t know what will come next. But you and I should not put a period where God intends a semicolon. Go ahead and pause then move forward, but don’t stop. It’s not the end of the story.

“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2


Kathy Withers is on staff at America’s Keswick and serves in Partner Care. Kathy has been married to her husband Dave for 30 years. They have two adult children. Kathy is active in her local Church and teaches a Bible Study for women. Her passion is to encourage women to deepen their walk with Jesus Christ by finding and living out the truths of God’s Word.

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