Not just gently closed, but all-out slammed?
In no uncertain terms, it said, "You're not welcome here. You don't belong. We don't want you."
It hurts, doesn't it? Especially if that was the door you really, really wanted to walk through.
Perhaps you've prayed for months (or years) for a child, a husband, a promotion, an invitation. You picture your life with the object of your prayers and it looks GOOD. Fulfilling. Right.
But the doors. One after another. Like an Avon lady desperate to make her quota, you knock on one, then the next, each time hoping THIS is the one. The month. The man. The opportunity.
Sometimes one cracks open, and your heart lifts in hope. Sometimes a welcoming face or encouraging sign peeks around, and you begin to dream. Sometimes you actually extend a foot over the threshold, only to have your toes crushed by painful resistance.
As disappointing and discouraging as closed doors can be, deep down inside, like the silver lining in the cloud, there is great comfort in them.
Closed doors are gifts.
They are evidence that a loving God is ordering the circumstances of our lives for our good.
Here are five thoughts to bring perspective when you encounter a closed door:
1. God has a plan for your life and it is good. "I know the plans I have for you," says the Lord, "Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11)
2. No good plan of God's can be twarted. Job said, "I know that you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted" (Job 42:2).
3. God can use what appears to be bad for good. Joseph is a classic example. Despite being kidnapped, envied by his brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused, stripped of his job (and his robe), thrown in jail, and forgotten by a "friend," God used Joseph to save his family and an entire nation. "You intended to harm me," Joseph acknowledged,"but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done," (Genesis 50:20).
4. There are no mistakes in the Kingdom, (Romans 8:28). And though Romans 8:28 reminds us that "all things work together for good to those that love God and are called according to his purpose," it's important to read the companion verse to understand the full picture: " For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son" (29). Much of what happens in our lives is less about God accomplishing something WITH us and more about accomplishing something IN us.
Oswald Chambers, in his classic devotional My Utmost for His Highest, says this:
"The idea is not that we do work for God, but that we are so loyal to Him that He can do His work through us--'I reckon on you for extreme service, with no complaining on your part and no explanation on Mine.' God wants to use us as He used His own Son."
5. When God says "yes," it's because he loves us. When he says "no," it's because he loves us. This quote from O'Hallesby says it all. Because God loves us, he will open those doors we are to walk through and close those we should not.
Our job is to knock, pray, and trust.
What doors are you knocking on today? Which have remained closed?
Will you join me in saying to God, "I trust you"?
Leave a comment below and join in the conversation. I'd love to share your faith walk. If you're reading via email, click here to comment.
If you enjoyed this post, you might like Sacrificing a Dream -- Would you do it?
I'll be presenting the seminar Praying with Power at New Century Church in Roanoke, Virginia, April 19-20. If you're in the area, I'd love to meet you! To reach the church, click here or contact Sherry at SherryGHolland@centurylink.net.
If you'd like to host a Praying with Power Women's Conference at your church and would like more information, click here.
If you enjoyed this devotion, you'll love Lori's devotional book for homeschooling moms, Joy in the Journey.
With a devotional for every week of the school year, JITJ has application questions, an action step, and a prayer. It's suitable for your own devotional reading or for use by a support group for meeting ideas.
Don't start your new year without it!
For more information and to read what other homeschooling moms are saying about Joy in the Journey, click here.
To order a paperback copy, click here.
New Year Special Ebook: $1.99 -- see ordering info in the sidebar.