When God closes a door, He opens a window. I think I’ve heard this quote a million times. Well… maybe not a million, but it certainly feels that way sometimes. We’ve all been there. We are moving along, everything seems fine and then it happens. Bamm! Door shut. Sometimes we see it closing. We know it’s coming. But more often than not, closed doors take us by surprise. We think, “How did I get here?” Our hope is gone and we have no idea what to do or how to move forward.
He opens a window… If I’m being honest, I’m not sure how much truth there is to this statement. Sometimes when God closes a door, he doesn’t open a window… At least not right away. God will often use closed doors in our lives to teach us how to trust Him. There’s not much trust involved when we immediately look up to find another opportunity. It’s when we have no idea where to go or what to do that we learn to trust Him fully.
More growth occurs in times of uncertainty than at any other time of our lives.
When every window and every door is shut, God is able to teach us what trusting Him is all about.
One of my favorite stories in the Bible is that of Joseph. At a young age, God gave him dreams and visions of his future; but all of that was cut short when his jealous brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt. Then he was falsely accused of a crime and thrown into prison. Throughout all of this, God’s favor was on him. People seemed to know he was special. But regardless of this favor, he must have a felt a bit hopeless. He spent over a decade waiting for a door to open. Pharaoh had a dream. Joseph interpreted it, and thus his open door finally came.
Another man who waited for an open opportunity is Abraham. God had promised Him a nation of descendants, but he and Sarah could not have children. Closed door. They tried to open another door themselves by having him sleep with Hagar (Sarah’s maid), but the result of that sin is still bearing consequences to this day. Finally (after 25 years of waiting), Isaac was born.
The time these men spent in waiting ended up being the most crucial part of their stories. They learned to trust God when they had no idea if and when their open door would come. And God used this time to prepare them for what they would encounter on the other side of the doorway.
For us, closed doors don’t usually come in the form of slavery, prison, or waiting until you’re one hundred years old to become a father. We lose a job, miss an opportunity, experience a difficult financial situation, suffer a miscarriage, or discover an illness in either ourselves or a loved one. And in each of these situations we feel hopeless… closed in… no open windows… no open doors. We feel stuck. We feel hopeless.
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. – Proverbs 16:9 (ESV)
We make a lot of plans in this life. We plan our education, our careers, our family… but only one thing is certain. Our plans don’t always go “as planned.” And honestly, I’m glad they don’t.
You see, God knows so much more about this life and my purpose than I ever could. I want him to adjust my plans as He sees fit.
What often looks like a closed door is simply God’s way of getting us where we need to be to accomplish all He has for our lives. This may be difficult to hear when a closed door comes as a shock or is painful in some way, but trust me when I say that God is always working things together for our good.
And just to be clear, not every closed door is closed by God. We still live in a fallen world with a very real enemy who likes to slam doors in our faces hoping that we will blame the closed door on God and lose faith. But never lose faith. We serve a good God!
He can and will use the set backs of this life and our fallen world to weave together a life story we could have never imagined for ourselves.
There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off. – Proverbs 28:13 (NIV)