Picture, if you will, giant medieval castle doors. The ones that sit next to the draw bridge keeping all the enemies out. Two enormously high, amazingly wide, unbelievably thick wooden doors, with huge metal clasps stand guard. Keeping people inside and safe. And the doors are shut. Tight.
“So he shall open, and no one shall shut; And he shall shut, and no one shall open.” Isaiah 22 v 22b
Just inside the door, in all her princess finery, a little girl throws a tremendous tantrum, kicking and screaming “I want the door to open! I want it open NOW!” The servants and courtiers nearby hide their grins as they watch her loving father, softly repeat “No my beautiful daughter. This is not the best for you. Because I love you, the door will remain shut.” Finally exhausted the little girl just sits there, arms folded, stubbornly sulking, trembling lip and all. The king bends down to her level and says “Precious one, when you finish misbehaving, I will show you instead what I do have planned for you today. I know you will enjoy that so much more than what you think you want. And, I still love you.” It is now up to the princess how long she wastes fighting love before she submits and finds the door that opens to peace and joy.
As Christians we often use the open and closed doors analogy when we are asking God to help us choose between a number of choices. Which of these two jobs should I take? Which of these four suburbs should I live in? Which of these men should I date? When there is one door and the choice is simply “yes” or “no” then we only like this analogy when God opens the door the we knock on. But what about when the door is shut? And “no one shall open” it? How do we react to that? God, should I take this job? No. Should I buy this house? No. Should I date or marry this guy? No. When it’s a “not this or nothing” option a no can be a lot harder to accept.
Have you ever thrown a tantrum at the door? I must confess I’m the princess who has just got up from the dirt courtyard floor, tear-stained and exhausted, finally ready to submit to the loving no of my heavenly Father. My tantrum and tears made no difference, the door is still shut and my Father still loves me. Now as I walk through the castle all I can do is trust Him that there is a better door for me to enter. To trust as we walk hand in hand and wait, with no idea where it is or how long it will take. Hopefully next time my dress won’t get filthy as I will just ask and accept His no and not embarrass myself by throwing a tantrum at the door.
Do you agree that a “not this or nothing” reply from God is hard to take? Do you struggle with closed doors? Share your story in the comments below.
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