Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Welcoming Closed Doors

We’ve all faced one. Expecting our desired result, we’ve grasped the handle of the highly anticipated door to our dreams and turned it. Expecting we’d hear the click of release, yet the latch stayed silent and we bumped against an unyielding door.

The closed door. Barring us from personal desires while our shoulder’s thud failed to assist. The moment invites a choice with deep results. Such disappointment can drive a wedge where one doesn’t belong.

“Then the LORD closed the door behind Noah.” (Genesis 7:16b ERV)

It’s easy to miss this miracle. When documenting the history of Noah’s life, Moses wrote something incredible. The LORD, not Noah, closed the door on the ark. Another version says He “sealed them inside.” Once all occupants were safely aboard, God closed the door. His main purpose was protection. He separated the inside from the outside and alone knew the extent of the volume of water that was coming, along with its duration. He knew the behavior of animals stampeding in fear and the curiosity of humankind when bored. Had God not passionately loved the contents of that ship, He’d have never closed the door Himself. It is a blessing to be locked in by our Heavenly Father.

But what of our desires to go somewhere or do something admirable in our lifetime? We all experience these longings as they’re intentionally placed within us. We’ve been given purpose along with chosen, innate gifts to successfully accomplish our goals. Like everything in life, focus is paramount so valuable energy isn’t wasted in the wrong direction. For you are the only one who can finish the work assigned you, therefore, it must be protected. Watch how He works.

“Paul and his friends went through Phrygia and Galatia, but the Holy Spirit would not let them preach in Asia. After they arrived in Mysia, they tried to go into Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not let them.” (Acts 16:6-7 CEV)

Given Paul and his fellow missionaries had no access to mapping services of where to share the Gospel, they were completely dependent on the Holy Spirit’s leading. Like us, they had specific callings that were orchestrated by The Almighty. He knew when and where to send His disciples so they’d be most effective, and guided them twice using closed doors. Allowing Paul to wander haphazardly would miss waiting hearts and opportunities. Earth’s evangelization carries a divine itinerary. It is a blessing to be locked out by our Heavenly Father.  

Likewise, our lives and their mission are precious in the Lord’s sight. We’re needed exactly in the position He’s created for us. Other people have tried to unlock the door only we can and He’s wisely held it closed. The gifts and personalities He’s thoughtfully woven into us are designed for us alone. No one else is qualified to do what we’ve been born to do and therefore He jealously guards our spot in life.

We all carry purpose at infinitesimal levels. While we were being knitted together in our mother’s womb, God chose the specific threads He wanted represented in our lives. He delights in both our structured discovery and the unwrapping of His multiple gifts over our lifetime; which frequently includes unexpected but deeply satisfying changes within our decades.

I’m grateful my Shepherd hasn’t allowed someone else through a door meant solely for me. Because He’s not trying to stifle my dreams; just fulfill my heart’s desire with their completion.

Remember, Christ identifies Himself as the Door. So whether He closes you in or closes you out—it’s the perfect time to praise Him. 

Copyright © March 2021 Susan M. Watkins, used with permission.

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