“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.” (Jer. 29:11). A while back, a lady came to my office asked to speak to me. She was in some distress, having just lost her job. She felt the future was bleak and could not understand why God would “punish” her. Like her, sometimes things happen to us that make us feel a little confused or even depressed. This is especially true when we do not feel like we deserve whatever trial has come upon us, but we need to understand the concept of “doors.” We know God loves us, and we know He has our best interests at heart, so why do we question Him when things do not go exactly according to plan?
We need to understand that God will direct our paths to better opportunities as Christians even if we do not understand it at first. Of course, as humans, we cannot know the future. We can look forward to something significant like a vacation, and we love “good” surprises. But, oh, when we do not understand it, we have an entirely different emotion. Let me ask you something, “How many times has something happened to you that looked and felt like a disaster to you, only to discover in hindsight how fortunate that event was?” In the case of the lady in my office, two months later, she found a new job and met her future husband there within a short period of time. When a door closes, it can feel like the end of the world, but when another opens, it can feel like the beginning of “heaven on earth.” Since we are temporal, we understand the past because we have experienced it.
We understand the present with less certainty because we can “mostly” control what is happing – until the moment comes when the “wheels come off,” so to speak. For the most part, the future is outside of our grasp. If we could just change our present and future perspectives, we would journey through life with far less stress. Look at the story of Job. The door did not just close for him – it seemed locked as well. But, with faith and obedience, the door that opened provided all he lost and then some. I do, however, believe that God will close a door for another reason as well – to prevent you from leaving. Let me explain; sometimes, we start to drift from the path of Christianity. Life happens, and we get too busy for church or, sadly, we just don’t want to bother with it anymore. The world begins to take hold in our lives as we capitulate to the temptations that lead to sin, which drives a wedge between the Lord and us.
The God of love, who sent His only Son to suffer death on the cross to save you, will not forsake you, so He closes the door. What happens when a door closes on us? We become anxious, panic, and lose hope, but then we often do something…we turn to God. We pray to Him for help, repenting of our sins and promising to do better in the future. If only He will open that door, or any other door, for that fact. Then, when we have returned with our heads bowed low in shame and turned from our brief stay in the darkness of sin, we realize we are better where we are than where we wanted to do. The door was closed for a reason. But, often, it is precisely then that He opens another door. A door that offers us a better opportunity to grow and flourish in ways we did not think were possible. Stop standing in front of the closed door, wondering why it was shut. Go and look for the open one because it offers so much more than the one you are standing in front of.