Thursday, March 30, 2017

In The Hallway

While scrolling Facebook yesterday morning a quote on Start Your Day With Jesus caught my attention.  "Don't stress over closed doors behind you.  God has NEW doors opening for you if you just keep moving forward."  It caught my attention because I had just read something else about closed doors from Dr. Brian Simmons who writes "I Hear Him Whisper".  He is also the author of the Passion Translation of the Bible.  The title of yesterday's "I Hear Him Whisper" was "The Right Door Will Open".   Then during morning devotions, up popped the closed doors theme once again.  Three times within an hour.

Today I listened to two separate teachings at Bethel.  One on the Holy Spirit and one on the story of Esther.  During each of those teachings "open doors" came up again.  God definitely has our attention.

Sometimes doors open wide, and we are able to see how God has made the way for us.  I remember when our oldest daughter Beth and her husband were living and working in the Twin Cities.  Bethany had been working at a church in a suburb there, when an opportunity for her to apply for a job at a church in Chicago came up.  I saw this opportunity and felt a strong urge from God to tell her about it.  A couple interviews and a job opening for her husband later, and they were on their way to Chicago.....many miles and hours away from us.  There were times I wished I had never seen that want ad in our ELCA's national magazine, but that would have been wrong. This was part of God's plan for their lives, and the 10 years they spent there were life changing.  Only God.

When doors close it can be difficult to see this as God.  A closed door can be discouraging in the moment.  When Joel was stationed in Duluth MN we visited friends at Luther Seminary in St. Paul. Joel knew he wanted to be a pastor, and he knew that there was a good chance he could get an early out of the Air Force.  We were so sure that this is what God wanted for us, that we even looked at buying a house only a few blocks from the seminary.  When we returned from our visit, Joel went in to the base to apply for early out.  Much to his surprise, he was told that he could not apply since he had "orders" pending.  What orders??  He soon discovered he was being sent to The Philippines.........and thankfully, we could all go with him.  That door closed hard, and we went to the P.I. for two years. Those two years were life changing in so many wonderful ways, and brought into our lives two of our children.  What blessings they are.  Only God.  And seminary?  It was still part of the plan.........but when God opened the door.

Sometimes we stand before a door, and we long for it to be open.  We look around for any sign that we are before the right door, holding the right key, any sign that God is hearing us....and we are met with silence or only hear one word.  Wait.  Waiting for the right door to open at the right time can be excruciating.  We find ourselves in the wilderness, which is just a place we don't want to be.  In this place we need to take our eyes off of our efforts and our desires and put them on Jesus. So, we praise Him in the hallway.

We praise Him in the hallway because we know all His promises in the Bible are yes and amen.  We praise Him because He has a plan for us....for good and not evil.  We praise Him because of what Jesus did for us, what He still does for us.  We praise Him in the hallway until the next door opens at exactly the right time.  Even in the hallway we are not alone.   We learn to rest in the hallway, and while we rest we praise Him!

No comments: