This morning I read this post by Alece at Grit and Glory. Basically she argues against the common Christian sentiment, “If God wants us there, then everything will work out. The doors will keep opening for us, and everything will just come together.” I must say that I agree with her. Of course most people probably say this thinking, “All things work for the good of those who love Him…” But it’s far too easy to be coaxed into believing that we need a dove to fly by or a rainbow in the sky or an olive twig to show up on our path during a morning prayer walk so that we will believe that all will be well if we make a decision to do something. Some people are nothing short of paralyzed by their fear of being “out of the will of God” that they will do nothing until they get a “sign” which they can then interpret as an open door. Open doors are sometimes ugly, dark and scary.
Oh, there will definitely be open doors and if we are following Jesus we are going to walk through them whether we really want to or not. But one thing that we have misrepresented as far as this “open door” analogy goes is that when He opens a door, it is a door into, as Alece said, “smooth sailing.” When really… nothing could be further from the truth.
If God wants us somewhere He may just call us to break down doors through prayer, toil and suffering or even shouts of victory (Joshua 6:15). He may call us to wait outside of doors and continue ringing until we hear a Yes (Matthew 15:21-28). There may be fire on the other side of the door (Daniel 3:21). There may be a valley of the shadow of death through which He leads us (Psalm 23). There might be a wilderness (Exodus 15:19-24, Matthew 4:1). There might be famine, nakedness, poverty, storm, dark of night and grief (Romans 8:35-36). There will always be doors that God opens for you. They just won’t always appear as you imagine.
They might even seem like trap doors. These are the doors that don’t lay before you but rather open beneath you, catching you off guard. Sickness, death, betrayal… anything that feels out of our hands — no knob to turn. These are the doors that we don’t walk through but fall through. Though they may feel like trap doors, they are in reality more like safety nets. They are the most agonizing of worship experiences. When we fall down what seems to be a trap door, into a pit… into darkness, where must we look for relief? We will most certainly be aware of the sudden darkness but if we are to see the glory and the light, we have only to look up.
There once was a garden gate. The man of all sorrows walked through the garden gate with His friends… He dreaded the dark door He was about to walk through. On the other side of that garden gate He walked into death’s arms on a cross and from there He entered a tomb. Would He have sweat blood and requested another route if at all possible had He known that walking through God’s open doors meant smooth sailing?
No, there is no promise that if God wants you somewhere He will make everything sunshine and lollipops as a sign to you that you indeed should walk through that door. On the other side of any door He has placed before or beneath you could lie your personal ruin. It could be the place where you find that you are emptied of everything. You may find suffering, grief, sickness, persecution and worse (2 Corinthians 4:7-18).
But His promise is that through each door whether He opens it before you or beneath you, He will be with you.
1 But now thus says the LORD,
he who created you, O Jacob,
he who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.
2 When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,
and the flame shall not consume you.
3 For I am the LORD your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
So, do not fear. Walk through doors. Or if you have fallen through one, look up and worship in the darkness, for He is there.