Friday, August 05, 2005

Behind Door #3 . . .

I loved “The Sound of Music” and raised my kids on it. At one point in the movie, the young nun Maria is told that “when God closes a door, He always opens a window.” That sounds sweet and pleasant—even restful—in its guidance. In actuality, facing a closed door in your life is usually painful. Sometimes excruciatingly so. It means the loss of something you had truly hoped for: a job, a privilege, a relationship.

In recent years the Lord closed the door on a couple of my close relationships, causing tremendous pain at the time. The “old me” would have finagled, manipulated, coerced, you name it—to force those doors back open. In the past I was “successful” several times in opening doors that the Lord closed—and in the end I was really sorry. Once I demanded to have a job that was rightfully mine, and lived to hate every moment on the job. I forced a relationship that I just “knew” God intended for me, only to cause myself tremendous pain. In each case, I forced the door open that God had closed. With 20/20 hindsight, I realize the Lord had been trying to protect me from something unhealthy or unwise. Thankfully, in recent years I’ve learned to pray when doors close and let God decide whether or not to open them again—and when.

God has the power to open any door He wants to open. But His love for His children is so deep that He closes doors that He knows will bring harm in the long run. I’ve had to tell my own children “no” countless times over the years, and it was awful watching some of the reactions, especially if my decision caused pain to a child who had been such a cooperative kid. But experience told me that what that child wanted would eventually be harmful. Sometimes they took it well—sometimes they pitched fits. I react the same way with my heavenly Father.

What are some reasons the Lord shuts the door on something you desire? Why doesn’t He open some doors no matter how hard you pray and how long you wait? Sometimes He is protecting us from something we can’t see—we never have all the facts about a situation or person, but He does. Sometimes God closes a door to redirect us. He might not let us have that job at the coffeehouse because He has a job for us at the hospital where we’ll touch many more lives. Sometimes a closed door is just a test to see if we really believe God is in total control of a situation. (A closed door can increase our perseverance, our ability to wait and pray and trust.) Sometimes we’re correct in thinking a certain path is God’s plan for us, but our timing is off. (If you’re a gung-ho, let’s-get-this-show-on-the-road person like me, you’ll run into closed doors all the time that just mean “slow down—not so fast.” If you’re out of God’s timing, you’re still out of His will.)

God is good all the time. God is love. When He closes doors, He has a good, loving reason for doing so. Slow down. Pray and ask Him what the closed door means. Take time to listen. Take time to read the Bible, where He will often speak His answer to you. Ask why a door has closed in your life—and give your all-wise, all-knowing, all-loving Father the option whether to open it again. Trust me—you’ll be glad you did!


Joie said...

Interesting to me, Kristi, this word about doors opening and closing. I heard a similar word the past two sundays. It is more interesting to me each day that comes closer to August 15th. That is when my oldest daughter and her family will be moving some miles away and I won't be seeing them every day, sometimes multiple times a day.

Two weeks after that, my younger daughter and her son will be leaving for Italy. The same thing with her. We have been close since the day she was born. It will be the first time in their lives, that I have not been near enough to keep their boys daily and bless them as they bless me. It could be a hard time, this first time empty nest, but somehow I believe it is not going to be that hard. Because I believe it is an open door as well as closed ones. I believe that the door of time, which I never seem to have enough of to finish any writing project, is finally going to be mine. I have so many writing projects planned, and I've never had the time to focus on writing anything all the way without interruption and constant distraction. The house will be quiet for the first time in more than thirty years. It could be scary if I didn't have so much to look forward to!

Thank you for this word, Kristi. It helps me to stay focused on God's plan instead of insisting on my own. My own, obviously, has not worked out so that I can accomplish all I believe God has put in my heart to do. There is a book I call "Garden of the Kingdom Sons" that I have started and stopped too many times. I want it to reach tweenies to help them see the Kingdom of God is an exciting place to live. I believe this generation is a warrior generation. Have you seen the games they play and the movies they watch? I do because I keep my grandsons so much. I want to give them understanding, through the books I want to write that there are only two kingdoms in reality on this earth, and one day they will have to choose which kingdom they will be a part of and warrior for. When Jesus was commissioning Paul, He told them there were two kingdoms, His kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness Paul was to turn them away from. There was no kingdom of self. Only the two. I want to show that to the kids who will read my books.

Forgive me. I get so impassioned when thinking about that.

Thank you, Kristi. Thank you for helping me to see the open doors more than I see the closed ones.

In Him who is love,

Kristi Holl said...

joie, thank you for your thoughtful response. I really hear you! I am about five or six years down the road from the experience you are facing in a couple weeks, and last year I got to "re-enter" my oldest daughter's life--and her husband and two kids--when I moved to Texas. The years alone with the girls gone to other states were growing and stretching years for sure! ~~Kristi

Anonymous said...

good post... thanks.

my site: gifted child