Have you heard this phrase before?
We have a hard time accepting a closed door.
We go readily through His open door and gladly praise Him for the opportunity, the relationship, or the job. We thank Him openly, frequently, and loudly because things are working out for us. We can’t imagine a better life. All because He opened a door.
But isn’t it funny how we react to a door He has closed. We say we trust God to close the door in His timing, but yet we still push against the closed door. Surely He didn’t mean to lock – deadbolt and all – the door on us. We’re doing all the right things. We’re going all the right places. We’re saying all the right things. So why won’t the door open?
And when the door doesn’t open – when we don’t get the job, relationship, or opportunity we want – don’t we try to force it open? Don’t we look around for another way in? Don’t we try to climb in the window, even if it takes a ladder and a lot of effort?
We’ve all tried it. We push with all our effort, and we sometimes we even try to enlish help in pushing.
Because we believe we have been good enough to have it be open.
Because we want to know what’s on the other side, and we think there is something bigger, better, or grander than what we currently have.
Because we don’t really believe we deserve to have the door closed on us.
But at the heart of the matter is the simple fact that we don’t really trust God to have a better purpose and plan for our life. So we doubt God and push against the closed door.
But when God closes a door, then the opportunity, job, or relationship He isn’t allowing into our life is NOT part of His best for us. So when God closes a door, He means business.
The disciples thought God had closed the door on Jesus. Surely this man of miracles could not really have been the Son of God He proclaimed to be, since He was overcome by human death. But His gruesome death was just the beginning of the miracle of salvation we are all invited to partake in.
Jesus was crucified upon the cross. What happened next? Matthew 27:57-60 – 57 Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him. 59 When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.
Jesus’ body was laid in a tomb, and it appeared God had closed the door. They had three years with Jesus, observing miracles and learning how to love people. The stone door appeared to be the end. It was a door no mere man could open, and all hope appeared to be lost. His friends and followers thought this was the end, that the door was completely immovable. Notice how they didn’t even try to move it?
But just as with your life, God wasn’t done. He was far from finished with the miracle of salvation.
So what happened? Matthew 28:2 – 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat on it.
God opened the door! Not a mere man, not one of the guards. It was God. Who else could have rolled away such a gigantic stone (Mark 16:4 – 4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away—for it was very large.)?
God sent His messenger to open the door to the tomb. And when the disciples saw that open door, their hope was renewed and their confidence restored. He truly became the Christ to them in that moment, and they were now willing to follow Him wholeheartedly.
Because a closed door became an open door. Oh how the story would have been dramatically different – and probably never told – if the door had never opened. But God had a bigger and better plan for them – and for us.
And what if the disciples had tried to pry open the grave and take God’s will upon themselves? Where would the story have gone?
But they didn’t. They may not have trusted God for the final act, but God had one for them anyway. And that final act propelled them into faith-full actions in Acts, where they went out boldly and proclaimed Him to the masses. They changed numerous lives with the simple truth of His death and resurrection.
When the disciples were thrown in prison in Acts 5, a door closed. Literally. A prison door. Was their ministry over? Was their hope extinguished? Not even close, because God didn’t close the door. God again steps in and opens the door. Acts 5:17-20 – 17 Then the high priest rose up, and all those who were with him (which is the sect of the Sadducees), and they were filled with indignation, 18 and laid their hands on the apostles and put them in the common prison. 19 But at night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, 20 “Go, stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this life.”
God’s glory and power were obvious to everyone when they went looking for their prisoners. Acts 5:22-23 – 22 But when the officers came and did not find them in the prison, they returned and reported, 23 saying, “Indeed we found the prison shut securely, and the guards standing outside before the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside!”
God wasn’t finished at the grave door and God wasn’t finished at the prison door. And God isn’t finished in your life. No matter where you are, what you’re going through, or where you’ve been, God can roll the stone away and bring life from the dark and dead places of your experiences.
Sometimes He moves quickly, as in Acts 16:26 – 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed. We don’t get a chance to think and God has already positioned us toward our purpose.
Sometimes He takes His time and leaves the door closed. We need time to change and grow. We need to adjust our expectations, our attitudes, our emotions, our security, our focus. We need to come to the point where we trust God more than our will, our desires, our feelings, our wants, and our current circumstances.
So if God is closing a door on an opportunity, job, or relationship in your life, why do you keep pushing against it? Why are you trying to open it (again)? Why are you looking for a window?
If He wanted the door to be open – if His best was in that job, that relationship, or that opportunity – that door would be open. And He would give you every chance to walk through it.
But if it’s not, leave it be. Let it alone and walk away. Stop trying to push, pull, and pry it open. Trust God to have it closed for His glory and your good.
Marie Fremin, 10/30/14