Friday, July 6, 2012

Do Not Break and Enter What God Has Closed

     Not a day goes by but what someone reading this will face a disappointment of some type.  Perhaps a job fell through that we had hoped would come our way.  Maybe a relationship ended on less than a happy note or possibly a promotion we had pinned  our hopes on did not occur.  Whatever the event that caused our hearts to sink, we need to take time for a serious talk with God.
     Nothing happens that God does not know about.  He is sovereign over the earth and our lives.  I confess that I do not always understand the way in which He works, but according to His Word, I know that His plan for us is perfect.  Jeremiah 29:11 reads:  "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope."  God's intentions for our life are continually good even if we do not see it that way at the time.  When we are in the middle of pain, it is hard to recognize.
An ancient door in Lincoln Cathedral England
     My husband gave some very sound advice to one of our children at one point when he said, "If God closes a door in your life, don't try to force it open again."  Those were good words of wisdom.  How many of us (lets be honest here) have tried every way imaginable to force a door open when God has closed it?  We pull out the crow bar, skeleton key, battering ram or whatever we can to break down that door which God has shut for His purposes.  In many cases, it just boils down to the fact that when we asked God to bless something "we" wanted we couldn't stand the fact that He said "no".  How could He do that when it looked so right?
     Of course, there are times when we do force our way through that door despite the Lord's warnings. At that point, God lets us face the consequences of our decision.  Samson was called to live as a Nazarite set apart to God.  He was not to drink wine or cut his hair.  His life was to be lived in a holy manner.  He also was not to tell anyone the secret of his strength.  However, he succumbed to the temptations of the world and told Delilah the secret of his strength.  As a result, he was captured by the enemy, and blinded.  God allowed him one more feat of power when he collapsed the temple of the pagan god killing many of the enemies (Judges 16).  How much more could he have accomplished if he had not done things "his" way?
     In the story of David and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 11), we find a king who had a heart after God's own heart.  Yet, he fell into the sin of adultery which led to murder in order to cover his tracks.  The result was the loss of the baby which came from the union and discord which remained in David's house until the day he died.    Once again,  God has provided, through the pages of His Word, another example of what can happen when we push ahead into something which the Lord has commanded us to avoid.
     When God says "no" or closes a door on a relationship, a job, or some other area, we need to accept His answer especially if we have prayed over it.  He is not denying us joy.  Instead, He may be saving us from heartache that we cannot even see or imagine.  The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence, but once we get there, it may be just as brown and patchy as our own.
     Instead of working hard to pry that closed door open again, we would do well to spend more time moving on and seeking to understand what God was trying to teach us.  His plans, remember, are far better, higher, and more satisfying than anything we could force our way into.  By waiting on the Lord, we will find the path He has for us to walk in and He will hold open the doors that no man can close if we will follow Him.  Remember the words of Isaiah when he wrote, "They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up on wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint."  This is our call to trust in the Lord and wait on Him.  Don't try to pry that door open again that the Lord has closed.  Rejoice, instead, that He is opening new doors of opportunity for us to walk through if we will be obedient to follow Him.  Selah!

I welcome your thoughts and insights here.


Christina said...

Excellent counsel dear sister! Learning this truth is a great step in being content in Christ. I love what you said here: "The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence, but once we get there, it may be just as brown and patchy as our own." How true! So often, we think we know what we want but really, only God knows what is good and right for us. If he withholds something or takes it away then, by His grace, we can say, let your will be done and it is good! Much love to you!

Barbara Thayer said...

Thanks for your insights Christina. Yes, there have been times when I have tried to break down the doors that God has closed. In the end, I was always sorry that I did. Ahhh....learning can be hard for some of us. God's blessings dear sister.