Living the Dash


Charles Billingsley

Hebrews 9:27

“It is appointed once to die, but after this the judgement.”


Romans 3:23

“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”

and “the wages of sin is death.”


The Wake 


Two sides to every wake:

1. Tasks 

2. Relationships 


We live life looking forward, but we understand life looking backward. 


I. Living the Dash – through the waiting  


John 11:1-7;

1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, “Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick.”

4 When Jesus heard that, He said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 7 Then after this He said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”


John 11:17

17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days.


John 11:18-20

18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. 19 And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”





John 11:32

32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.”

1. Keep your eyes on the Big Picture


The life of unbelief places our circumstances between ourselves and God.

The life of faith places God between ourselves and our circumstances 


2 Corinthians – 5:7 – “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”

2. Keep your faith in His blessed Promises

You might be waiting, but that doesn’t mean God isn’t moving.

3. Keep your heart tuned into His beautiful presence.  

Always remember: God works in the space of the entire dash, not just a sliver of it.


John 11:21-22

21 Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. 22 But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”


Hebrews 13:5 – “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”


God doesn’t have mixed feelings toward you. 

Psalms 27:14

“Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!”


As you move through your dash, Wait on the Lord, and you will eventually discover His impeccable plan. 


II.  Living the Dash – through the weeping


1. The Lord understands your pain  –      

Psalm 34.17-18
“The righteous call to the LORD, and he listens; he rescues them from all their troubles. The LORD is near to those who are discouraged; he saves those who have lost all hope.”

John 11:33-35

33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34 And He said, “Where have you laid him?”

They said to Him, “Lord, come and see.”

35 Jesus wept.


Psalm 31:7

I will be glad and rejoice in Your mercy,

For You have considered my trouble;

You have known my soul in adversities


Hebrews 4:15

“We do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses”

2. Joy comes in the morning 

Psalms 30:5

“…weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning.”


Isaiah 43:2

“When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

and through the rivers, they shall not overflow you.

When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned, nor shall the flame scorch you.”


Psalms 23:4

“though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death.”


III.  Living the Dash – through the watching 


John 11:38-40

38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.”

Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”

40 Jesus said to her, “Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?”


This verse carries two of those themes.


First: Belief


Hebrews 11:1

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things NOT seen. “


Second: The Glory of God


God’s glory is the fleshing out of His presence, His power, and His perfection.


Our engaged obedience and sensitivity to all that is going on around us often plays a key role in the supernatural handiwork of God.  


Every life that is changed by the grace of God is a testimony to the glory of God. 


So we see that:

 1. Through the waiting, we discover His impeccable plan. 

 2. Through the weeping we find His incredible peace

 3. Through the watching we see His immeasurable power.


IV. Living the Dash – through the wonder


John 11:41-44a

41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 And  I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.” 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out


Colossians 1:16

All things were created through Him and FOR Him.


As we move through our dash, If you live for Him…we discover the wonder of worship and His intimate presence.


John 11:44

And he who had died came out – bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”


The lifestyle of worship is a perpetual celebration over the freedom and forgiveness God has given you.   


James 4:14

Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away.




2 Corinthians 5:17

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.”


John 11:25-26

25 Jesus said to her (Martha), “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”


Let Him show you His plan in your waiting. 

Let Him show you His Peace in your weeping.

Let Him show you His power in your watching

Let Him show you His presence in your worship.