Years ago, when my daughter was young enough to have her own baby pool, she would want to spend hours in the few inches of water that pool had to offer. Every time we told her to come out of the pool, first, she’d complain, but then, once she came out, she’d be shivering. And every time she’d get out of the pool and shiver, we would dry her off. Then, my daughter would walk back to her pool, pour a pitcher of water over herself, and walk back to us to get dried off again. That’s a smart girl. You see… she knew where her needs were going to be met. She came to me because she expected me to dry her off again. And I did — every time!
That’s the kind of relationship God wants with us. It’s what faith is all about — expecting God to act on our behalf. Sounds simple, right? Well… it is, but as adults, why do we always seems to complicate simple things?
I know… many of you are probably thinking “God hasn’t always come through for me. He hasn’t always done what I expected of Him.” How could He? God is so much greater than we are. There is so much we don’t understand about God. But I know I can trust him to love me no matter what. God will be here for me from now to eternity. Faith is expecting that even in the midst of what you’re facing now, God will keep loving us and keep being faithful. He’ll keep His plan all the way through eternity.
This couldn’t be more apparent than as I read through Habakkuk 1-3. Immediately a complaining attitude; not one of trust but of question. Our Lord graciously responds, but the passage screams disappointment from an expectation; perhaps a ‘closed door’ of sorts?
Do we consider God ‘closing doors’ as Him being faithful? I mean, after all, how can God closing a door on a desire of our hearts mean that He loves us and only wants the best for us? This is a big part of faith… trusting God when we don’t understand. Perhaps much of what we’re speaking about here is for us to adopt a paradigm shift in how we see God. Perhaps, when God closes a door, it’s happening because we’re believing too small. Consider this… if God were to open all doors we thought should be opened, perhaps it might limit what He wants to do in our lives. The door may close because it isn’t the right time, or there are other individuals involved and they aren’t ready yet.
The bottom line is… God has our best interest at heart. When a door is closed, we can’t know what God is potentially saving us from. As we grow in faith and wisdom, our prayers should thank Him for the closed doors just as much as we would likely thank Him for the open doors. And, just like a great father exhibits wisdom, God, our heavenly Father understands best that preparation for the next open door requires saying no, at times, until we reach our final destination in Heaven. However, many Christians, me included, at one time misinterpreted Jesus’ promise of abundant life to mean perfect health, a comfortable lifestyle, constant happiness, full realization of our dreams, and instant relief from problems through faith and prayer. Simply put, they expect the Christian life to be easy… they expect heaven on earth!
A closed door is often an indication that He has something else in mind for us to do or His way of refining us and preparing us for the door He would eventually open. Therefore, it might be that God’s will is focused more on how we respond to the door than in our walking through it. Perhaps, our life’s doors are more about our approach to life with Him. God is ready to show us His will, just as He did in Revelation 14, but because we don’t always hear His voice, He will use the circumstances of our life to direct and stop us. So, the next time a door of opportunity opens or closes, we should, in wisdom and faith, be asking “Lord… is this you? What is it that you want me to do or learn with or from this event?”
Amen… Merry Christmas!