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!
Posted by Kristi Holl at 6:28 AM