If you think perfect gentlemen only open doors, think again. God is the ultimate perfect gentleman, and He is also in the business of closing doors. Unfortunately, like so many of my fellow men and women, I am prone to praising Him for opening doors and griping, complaining, and becoming discouraged when He closes them. It has just dawned on me recently that I should be thanking God when He closes doors instead of making a mess out of things.
I have often heard people pray that God would open the doors He wants opened and shut the ones He wants closed, but I have never heard anyone talk about thanking Him for the doors He chooses not to open. Why is this so much on my mind? Since my recent move to South Carolina, I have had more doors shut in my face in a short period than I can remember in a long time.
How have I responded overall? Tears. Discouragement. Defeat. Entertaining the words and lies of the enemy that I am some poor sorry failure of a soul who just can’t succeed at anything. Never until recently did it dawn on me to thank God, and even now that I have come to the realization closed doors can be a blessing – well, I tend to forget my manners!
Several months ago, I did something in retrospect that was absolutely hilarious. It was not, I can promise, at the time. I stumbled out of bed in the middle of the night to use the bathroom and did not bother to turn the light on. I literally crashed into a wall, nose first. I saw a flash of white light, and I can promise you it was not a glimpse of heaven. It was the predecessor to a bloody nose. Only the Lord knows how many times I have smacked and smashed my life into the doors the Lord has so lovingly closed.
Lovingly? Yes. The Lord loves me so much that He does not want me to go through certain doors. Like a parent who has to baby-proof the home, the Lord knows it is sometimes best to protect me by literally not letting me walk through a door into a place He is not calling me. He knows what is on the other side, and He does not want me there. Other times, He does allow me to walk through for the purpose of growth.
Unfortunately, more often than not, when a door is closed, I have tried to force my way in. My flesh has not enjoyed the door shut before me, so I have exerted control, manipulation, quite frankly, witchcraft, to push my way in. Then, when I have come face to face with the mistake I have made, I have gone running back into the arms of the Lord – bloody nose and all.
Today, slowly by slowly, I am learning to recognize that doors are closed for a purpose. I am realizing I have a choice to accept the door shut before me, or to exert my will. With the strength and leadership of the Lord, I am learning to turn away from closed doors and to wait on Him.
Truthfully, I do not want to miss the open doors the Lord has before me. The Bible teaches me that the Lord orders my steps, and surely He knows where He wants to lead me – and He knows which doors will be open for me to pass through to get there.
Learning to wait on the Lord, rather than to willfully charge through my life only to fall and flail, is brand new for me. It is hard as heck, but I am bound and determined to learn to live the Lord’s way.
His way is always – ALWAYS – best. The next time I see a shut door, I pray I remember.
Thank God for closed doors.
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.”
“Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”