Can a closed door, and I mean one that is irrevocably closed to something that we as humans know to be right, ever be a good thing? You might not see it, so let’s explore.
I have been reading a devotion titled Chase the Lion which discusses courage to step out, and to trust when you are near the lion. Today’s reading discussed how a closed door might lead to feelings of failure. Feeling that you had not done enough to make something happen.
Thinking through the devotion reminded me of a story. Someone I know had been dealing with a rough marriage for many years. Family, friends, the world all told her to give it up and move on. Things were never going to change, that had become obvious, even to the woman.
For years she believed, trusted and expected God to step in and fix the mess. Claiming the promises made in the scripture, ignoring the advice of others, she soldiered on. Her faith clinging to scriptures about asking, knocking, trusting, mustard seeds, etc. Every so often things improved and it appeared the door might be opening to a healed relationship.
During year 29 of the marriage, the roller coaster continued, until she finally looked at the door and realized that it was closed, never to be opened again.
Heartbroken she took stock of the situation. So many questions surfaced. Was her faith lacking? Had she done something to deserve punishment? Had she not been the right sort of wife? Had all the tears gone unnoticed by Heaven? Were the words in the Bible false?
Long sleepless nights haunted her. Every prayer had been aligned with what the Bible said was God’s will. A petition for a whole, healthy, spiritual family is what God would wish for us. But the door remained closed.
A closed door is quite simple for God to open, so why had He not done so? Why did He allow this door to remain so tightly closed? The situation was not bigger than the Red Sea, so He had the ability to make it right. The free will of people comes into play here. It takes both parties to make a relationship work and if one does not wish to remain or to put forth the effort, then failure is the inevitable outcome.
Mercy is one of the gifts we receive and through mercy and love, another door opened letting the sun shine in on what had been many years of darkness.
God opened another door bringing love to the woman, through the gift of a husband who was the perfect answer to any question that might ever arise.
‘The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.’ Rev. 3:7
God had so completely allowed the old door to remain shut it forced her to move to another doorway, find it open and step through to real happiness.
Shepherdess, as you tend your flock and find closed doors, before attempting to break it down and barge through, pause and ask God if He is the one who shut the door. Is there another door He has opened?
P.S. Yes, I know her well. The woman in this story is me. Until I read today’s devotion about God so completely closing some doors, I’m not sure that I recognized what a blessing that closed door has turned out to be.