You have heard the saying, “When God closes one door, he opens another.” But to me it has always felt a second best. A consolation prize. Something I didn’t really want.
But the other day I saw it differently… I had to cancel an important meeting because of a Covid incident. I felt disappointed. But now with free time on my hands, I took a long walk with someone. It turned out they were asking the question, “What is the point?” And this conversation was SO IMPORTANT, God had to clear my diary!
Could it be that when God shuts a door, it is because he has an urgent need for us to be his heart and hands, his feet and voice?
Photo by Nigel Cohen on Unsplash
I have this persistent longing to make a mark in life. I have this one-track mind that says it must look a certain way. Somehow it has sunk deep into my heart that adulthood is where it happens. Why? I grew up with that old Victorian creed, “Children should be seen and not heard.” I believed that life did not begin until one grew up.
But God is challenging me yet again, to go to those silenced ones, any silenced ones, whether children or adult, and listen. To value them and help them find their voice.
God is saying, “Hear and pay attention. Do not be arrogant, for the Lord has spoken.” (Jeremiah 13:15) This is a challenge for me… to step away from making a mark… to step into sync with God…. to enable the silenced to speak.
If you asked me if I recognized God’s voice, I would have said, “Yes!” But yesterday a friend came to mind. I felt I should visit her. I texted and rang, but no reply. In the end I drove to her house, a 72 mile round trip.
I knocked on her door. No one answered. I thought I had heard God right. In the end I wrote a note and posted it through my friend’s letter box. Romans 8:28. “And we know that God works all things together for good to them who love him.”
I laughed. Maybe this trip was actually for me. God wanted to remind me that everything does work for good, even when things go wrong.
You probably know how hard it is when those we love push us away…
- If you don’t do what I say, you can’t be my friend.
- If you love me, you will never disagree with me.
- If you care for me, you won’t tell the truth.
What are we supposed to do? We are upset and scared.
But God doesn’t push us away. He says, “I, even I, am he who comforts you. Who are you that you fear mortal men? … I have put my words in your mouth and covered you with the shadow of my hand.” (Isaiah 51:12,16)
God gives us his dignity. He gives us the wisdom how to respond. He protects us. We can move on.
I figured life was about being serious, sensitive, and saintly. But I decided to ask God how he had made me. One word came back. Funny. I doubled up in laughter. I purposely stopped being funny at age fourteen. We were at a camp. My father was the director. One morning early, I ran his underclothes up the flagpole. I thought he would laugh. I got that one wrong, but I vowed never to be funny again… Funny what promises God asks us to break.
The facts of 2015 could stare us in the face. Broken dreams. Smashed hopes. Where was God? He could have changed those facts, he could have made things better… He didn’t. He had a deeper agenda. Faith. Can I trust him in 2016, even when hope seems futile? Can I believe him that my broken dreams are only the beginning, the seeds of an adventure with God?
Thirty-five years ago I was told that I would feel fulfilled if I got married. I believed it and tried to make it happen. But I had to let go of that dream to find out that happiness is apart from marriage.
Now I am realizing another truth. I believed that the goal of every author is to get published. I worked towards it with all my heart. But again I was wrong. My goal is to write what God wants me to write, and if he desires for my books to get published, he will make it happen.
It is so easy to put our agendas first, and forget that God is above all. He is the one who satisfies our needs. “Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.” (Psalm 37:3 NLT)