Shouldn’t This Be Easier?

Shouldn’t This Be Easier?

May 29, 2015

"When I open a door, no one can close it. And when I close a door, no one can open it. Listen to what I say." Revelation 3:7b (CEV)

I have a confession to make. There have been times in my past when I felt like God was getting in the way of my plans.

More often than not, I would admire my friends and notice how they seemed to be on the fast track toward success in life. I, too, had goals I wanted to accomplish, dreams to pursue and a calling I longed to fulfill. Why did it seem like they were making great progress and I wasn’t?

Determined to make things happen, the achiever in me insisted on bulldozing forward with big expectations and lofty dreams. If I just work harder and stay focused, everything will go according to my plan.

I longed for God to stamp “yes” stickers on all my prayer requests and open every door of opportunity that I thought would be the perfect fit for me. But that didn’t happen.

Instead, I faced many challenges and obstacles. It seemed as if I’d take one step forward and three steps backward … like I was encountering more roadblocks than open doors.

My self-made highway toward all those dreams started to look more like a dirt road littered with potholes of discouragement and puddles of frustration. So, I prayed harder, sought God more and asked why He wasn’t taking all of my great ideas into consideration.

I wanted to be optimistic and full of faith, but the more I pondered and asked questions, the more I second-guessed my calling. Self-doubt filled my mind:

If God has gifted and called me to this, shouldn’t it be easier?

If I’m trying to do God’s will, why does it seem like He’s denying all my prayer requests? Surely, He knows this is important to me!

Look at this great opportunity. It’s exactly what I’ve been asking for! Why do I keep getting overlooked?

Not all of the answers came right away, but I refused to give up. I kept reading my Bible and asking God the tough questions. I continued to trust Him and follow His lead even when things didn’t make sense.

Then one morning as I was reading my Bible and journaling, I came across today’s key verse from Revelation 3:7: "When I open a door, no one can close it. And when I close a door, no one can open it. Listen to what I say."

Then this thought came to me: A closed door is not God’s objection toward me; it’s His sovereign protection over me.

Suddenly that changed everything. I looked at the closed doors in my life from a new perspective.

God loves me too much and knows me too well to give me everything I ask for. His protection for me will always override my earthy wants and desires. Even when I have the best intentions in mind, His plan is always better.

The Bible tells us in Psalm 84:11-12, "The LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly … blessed is the one who trusts in you!" (ESV)

To "walk uprightly" means to have a faith that is genuine — to continuously seek after God’s will and obey Him in every area of our lives.

If you’re walking uprightly and God closes a door that you think is a great opportunity, I hope you will remember this devotion and hold onto this truth: God is not setting you up for disappointment or failure. He’s setting you up for something better.

The gifts God has given you and the calling He’s placed on your life are irrevocable. Whatever door God opens on your behalf cannot be closed by anyone. God’s plans for you will succeed and His promises stand firm forever.

Meanwhile, let’s not only thank God for the doors He’s opening, but also for the doors He’s closing. Doors that could potentially lead us to harm, should we get our own way. Let’s be sure to remember: God is not getting in our way — He is the only way to complete victory!

Dear Lord, thank You for the gifts and calling You’ve placed on my life. Help me to trust You when things don᾿t go according to my plans and desires. Let me see the potential of a closed door as a divine detour that will lead me closer to You as I wait for something better. I’m so grateful Your promises stand forever. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Philippians 1:6, "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ." (ESV)

RELATED RESOURCES:
Are you looking for answers and longing for more of God’s peace and perspective? Check out the NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women today. It’s filled with insightful daily devotions written by Lysa TerKeurst and the Proverbs 31 Ministries team.

Stop by Leah DiPascal’s blog to continue the conversation and enter her drawing to win a copy of the NIV Real-Life Devotional Bible for Women today!

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
When was the last time a closed door became a divine detour in your life?

Write down all the benefits and blessings from a closed-door experience. Take time to thank God for each one.

© 2015 by Leah DiPascal. All rights reserved.

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Comments

  1. Wow! What a wonderful question to ponder over tonight! The last time a closed door became a detour in my life was nearly three years ago when my family attempted to keep me from getting married. Despite their reasoning for why my husband and I shouldn’t get married, we knew there was a good reason why God had placed us in one another’s life. Regardless of having disabilities, we were simply made for each other.
    My husband, Ron Smith and I were meant for one another. Being together has allowed us to learn so much about what we’ve been through in our past, even helping one another overcome the challenges that we’ve faced. Marriage has also allowed us to prove to my family that loving one another is all that matters—not having any physical differences.
    As we are approaching our 3-year anniversary, another benefit is that my hubby is teaching me that I don’t have to allow others to attempt to make me be something I’m not. He’s showing me that it’s OK to ask for help when I need it, especially when it comes to moving to a new adventure, regardless of how my family may feel.
    “When I open a door, no one can close it. And when I close a door, no one can open it. Listen to what I say.” Revelation 3:7b (CEV)
    Wow! What a powerful thing that God is telling us tonight! Once He has closed a door of opportunity, it can’t be re-opened again by Satan. Once He has opened a door of opportunity, the enemy can’t do anything to shut it.
    “The LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly … blessed is the one who trusts in you!” ~Psalm 84:11-12 (ESV)
    Awesome! What a wondrous thing to remember tonight! God gives favor to those of us who do the right thing. When we follow Him always, He is most definitely going to bless us forever and always. No matter what challenges we deal with, God wants us to have faith that He can show us brighter days.
    “Dear Lord, thank You for the gifts and calling You’ve placed on my life. Help me to trust You when things don᾿t go according to my plans and desires. Let me see the potential of a closed door as a divine detour that will lead me closer to You as I wait for something better. I’m so grateful Your promises stand forever. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”~Leah DiPascal
    Wow! What an awesome prayer! We can be thankful for what God has already done for us. Plus, we can also praise Him, despite the circumstances that we’re going through. Naturally, we can recognize that blessings are waiting for us when we choose to pay careful attention.
    Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (ESV)
    Awesome! God started doing good through calling us to be a part of His kingdom. Through Him, we are called to bless others with the gifts we’ve been given, so that the task will be fulfilled when Jesus returns to the world He created.

  2. So so very glad for the joy of marriage that you Nico Smith and Ron Smith are experiencing as God has designed us for satisfying and rewarding relationships….God constantly and continuously bless their marriage. Amen!

  3. THANK YOU for such an encouraging and timely word/Word Leah. Every Word/word of everyday is truly divinely sent for us ladies out here…in this faraway tiny island of Trinidad, it is surely what God sends for me each day….THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH!!!!!!!!

  4. I was sleeping and God woke me up two hours ago to read yesterday’s devotional and I have spent an hour and a half in personal prayer for EVERYONE of you ladies and your personal situations – those of you who replied in sadness, pain, frustration, loneliness and struggle to the devotional. God ‘s abundant peace, joy and deliverance to you all EACH AND EVERY DAY!!!….HOPE God’s promises in the Scripture verses I put up for you all gives YOU ALL CONTINUOUS HOPE, FAITH AND ASSURANCE of God’s hand in your situations….all my sickness of yesterday and tiredness is gone….WHAT A LOVING GOD!!!!

    • Roz, thank you for sacrificing your time and sleep to pray over the women who will be visiting the site today and reading this devotion. You are a blessing, sweet friend!

  5. Broken. Want God to raise up my pregnancy that doctors doomed. I want Him to manifest this baby to life. I’m so terrified of Jesus breaking my heart. You’ve no idea the prayers and tears I’ve poured out to try and hand all this over to him. I am so very terrified that he will take baby 3, if he has not already. I don’t see God in a fatherly way–I’ve not had the easiest route. I can’t just “trust Him” easily when I’ve walked the rocky road I’ve been on for years. I can only speak from experience. Begging God just to love on me, show me kindness, to please let me be a mother. I don’t want to face the terrifying ache that could be in front of me. I KNOW God is capable. I KNOW it is His world and He will do what He chooses. That is so scary. When you’ve seen event and circumstances just resulting in turmoil and pain, it’s hard not to worry. It’s a tough place to be. Sigh.

    • P,
      I’m praying for God’s protection over your precious baby as he/she is tenderly cared and secured within you. May your fears and worries be transformed into unwavering trust as your keep your heart and mind focused on God.

    • P, I know what you’re feeling. When I started spotting AGAIN during my last pregnancy I just couldn’t believe that God was allowing me to lose another baby. I hoped against hope that things would turn out okay and when they didn’t I felt so hurt and betrayed and let down by Him. It was so hard for me to fully trust him after that. It’s taken me years to get back to a place where I can fully put my trust in the Lord–but it’s a deeper, fuller trust than it was before. I know now that it’s not about trusting Him to never allow pain and grief and sorrow into our lives, but about trusting Him to walk through it with us, holding us up and giving us the strength to endure the pain, to heal our broken hearts and, eventually, turn our mourning into joy. I was reminded of this lesson again recently when an extended family member, a woman of immense faith, passed away after a brutal battle with melanoma. It’s so hard to understand why God doesn’t just perform miracles for his children and fix things for us, why he lets so much suffering into our lives. But then I realize that if I hadn’t endured losing my babies I wouldn’t be here today to offer you true understanding. God works ALL things together for good to those who love Him, and I know it’s so hard right now to understand how this ordeal your going through could ever be turned around for good. But it can and He will do it. Lord, please wrap P in your everlasting arms and love on her, strengthen her to walk through this trial you’ve placed before her and fill her with your peace that passes understanding as she pours out her heart to You. Answer her prayer to love on her today, Lord. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

  6. Brilliant devotion and just what I needed to hear today. Not always easy to follow Gods will and be obedient in what He is calling you to do but so glad He leads us by shutting doors too. So glad that I have been reminded that it is His way of protecting us, God bless you Leah,

  7. P, my heart aches for you. I am too familar with that situation. Last year I lost two babies within two months of each other and the heartbreak is unimagineable. I had just come back from burying my uncle when i found out I lost my second pregnancy. It was Mother’s Day weekend. My husband spent his birthday in the hospital with me after having surgery to help my body do what it wouldn’t do on its own. God sees every single tear you have cried and He does love you dearly. It helped me to pray that God help me see the blessings he would put in my life out of my heartache. I saw many immediately. I asked Him to help me praise him in the midst of my grief. He helped me do that too. I grew closer to Him during this time, and now having gone through all that, I have a hope and assurance that He will be with me wherever I go. As I tyoe this, I’m holding my one week old little girl. I hope and pray that not only will you seek and fine immeasurable peace, but that you are able to see His blessings in this and you one day hold your child in your arms.

    • What a beautiful response to a heartbreaking situation. Thank you so much for sharing and this further compounds my belief that God will use terrible things for good, like in the case of being able to encourage a mom in the same situation. I pray that God will bless you and this precious little one.

  8. My divorce is now final. What a slamming of a door… How perfect was this devotional. I will keep it close and read it often.
    Thank you

  9. Deborah says:

    Dear P, It is 4 AM EST/ USA and I am praying for you again. I so wish, dear sister, that I could say or do something to comfort you. I wish I could take away your pain and loss. I just want to fix all this but that is not my job and I would only get in God’s way. He is sovereign and His Way is best. That is so hard to believe and trust in but it is Truth. I walked the journey of miscarriage (3) with my daughter and it is such a hard road to walk even as a grandmother. I always remember my precious grandbabies and I know they are in the loving care of the One who loves them most. And yes, they are not here with us but one day, I will see them and I will know them and they will know me. For now, I am entrusting them to God which is what we have to do with all because He is the Giver of all good gifts. And yes, God closed the door for those babies for now but he opened the door for 3 more babies who are healthy and happy to follow. They are now 6, 3, and 10 months. I have 6 grandchildren-3 in Heaven and 3 here with us. None are lost. I know exactly where they are. I believe in miracles. God is still in the miracle business and I don’t know His plans for your little one. I will be praying for you both. I will pray for a miracle if it could be God’s will but I will also pray for Trust and peace in whatever He decides. I will pray for His Glory to shine through and for your story to touch the hearts of those who walk this journey of sorrow. Please allow Him to comfort you. God sent Jesus to die for us to save Us from our sin and make a way for us not to be lost forever. God knew the hell on earth Jesus would go through to make a way to God for us. He totally understands every feeling you have in this painful time because He has walked that same road of pain you walk today. But your story is not done. It is not finished. I am praying you will see with eyes of faith that you can trust God with every circumstance of every day. Circumstances cannot be our hope. God is our Hope, our Help, and our ever present Refuge in times of trouble. Praying for you dear P. Deborah jpauldebbie@earthlink.net

  10. Deborah says:

    Dear Deb, I am and will be praying for you as well. I have had the door called “Divorce” slammed very loudly against my heart and my choice. It is a different road but one God redeems and uses. Praying you will see His Hand working through these days and that He will make “every bitter thing sweet” for you and that you will see Him use your story for good- yours and for others as well. Love in Jesus, Deborah jpauldebbie@earthlink.net

  11. If it weren’t for the truth God’s gifts and plans for me are irrevocable, my whole life would seem “like a dirt road littered with potholes of discouragement and puddles of frustration”. But He has good plans for me and not evil plans. He protects with “doors” to keep me on track. I must keep the faith, trust and obey. Sister Leah and Proverbs 31 Team, you are such a blessing to help me do this. You are a vital part in numerous people’s lives! Thank you for Having faith and trusting and obeying Him.

  12. Wow! What an encouragement! Things don’t always work out the way we think they should, but what a wonderful promise that God is in control! I needed this today! http://www.micahmaddox.com

  13. Lauren Johnson says:

    Thank you for this wonderful devotion. It’s exactly what I needed to remind me that God has a plan for me that no one can block and that in His time and His way the doors to the speaking and leadership ministries that he He’s called me to will open.

  14. Leah, thanks so much for this wonderful reminders. Sometimes I get discouraged when my path to success doesn’t lead there. However, the Spirit lead me to a wonderful revelation this a.m.: I’m here to glorify God’s name, not my own! Thanks again for the encouragement this morning!

  15. Thank you so much for this devotion. I’m holding on to my Lord, even though my circumstances have me feeling that the doors are closed and that I’m out to sea with no wind and no sail. Every time I feel a breakthrough in surrendering difficult things to the Lord’s will, instead of the step forward it seems I take three steps backwards. I feel discouraged and lost and at times disappointed. Now, I feel a struggle with not eating coming on. An urge that surfaces every so often when I feel overwhelmed. But my story is not over either. My God is faithful and I will be faithful to Him in the midst of the darkness. Light will come. One day my heart will sing again.

  16. Thanks Leah for putting into words what I’ve just recently gone through. It took me two full years to let go of the reign’s and trust God with my specific situation (and of course I still struggle with this all the time!). I can’t tell you the peace that came from letting go, even as I was fearful of what lie ahead. If we can let go and trust God, our pain is easier to go through, and then we free our minds to hear him and grow in faith.

  17. Thank you for the needed reminder of God’s faithfulness to protect me from myself sometimes!! I loved the verses about the closing and opening if the door!!

  18. JerseyGirl99 says:

    My life since coming to a relationship with Jesus 15 years ago has been one open door after another leading me toward trial, oain and heartache. I long for these doors to close and better ones to open. At my age, there is little time for the few plans/dreams i have to come true.

    • JerseyGirl99: Your honesty brought tears to my eyes. God never promised us an easy life. He does promise that HE IS WITH US. And that He is conforming us to the image of Christ Jesus (Rom 8:29). May you hang onto those 2 profound truths today.

      Father God: Would You graciously give JerseyGirl99 Your perspective on what has happened in her life so that she can see You in all of the trials, pain, & heartache? Encourage and strengthen her with Your Love and Your Words of Truth. Allow Your Peace which passes all understanding to rule & reign in her heart today. Give her wisdom & courage to cast out the lies that the evil one is trying to deceive her with. Please bless her and be the Lifter of her head today. In the precious name of Jesus, Amen

  19. Jessica says:

    I needed this devotion. If doors are closed from me, it is because God is protecting me or that I need to fix something in my life first. Without this, I can’t move forward, at least not down the path that God has planned for me. HIS path has always had a better destination than my own. For example, I was laid off a few years back. I was so upset. I made poor choices during this time, and I let my disappointment be the excuse for these choices. Turns out, GOD had a much better place for me. I was hired somewhere new within a few months, and I love where I work. GOD knew I was better fit somewhere else. The first place was just a way to get my foot into the door, or rather my foot onto the path HE had paved for me. Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive me where I failed YOU, and please forgive me for being so stubborn. I surrender the navigation of my life to YOU.

  20. Thank you so much truly needed this reminder may God Bless

  21. I have had quite a few closed door experiences that led to greater things. One was a relationship that ended despite my best efforts to keep it going. A few months later the man was arrested for multiple DUIs and giving drugs to minors. I’m so glad I wasn’t roped into that!

    However, I struggle because I continue to wait upon God for a child, and it hasn’t happened yet. What could be a better blessing than that?

  22. Tawanna says:

    Todays devotion was such a eye opener because I am always looking for a pass and wondering why god has not open a certain door for me when I felt it was going to help me. But I need to trust his perfect plan for my life. Thank you for sharing I will remember this key key verse when I start to get down on a close door.

  23. Heather says:

    This rings so true. 8 miscarriages over 12 years. 8 doors closed and I was broken beyond belief. He heard my cries, whispered to my heart that I would be a mother (I held onto this promise through 3 more miscarriages) He just never told me HOW!
    Foster/Adopt was my 3 open doors. He made me a mother, in his own way and time, 3 now teen boys. His way and timing are perfect.

    • I cannot imagine the heartache that you have suffered. Your perseverance & faith are an amazing encouragement the Lord of Heaven & Earth…that His purposes will succeed. Thank you so much for sharing.

  24. Debbie Hollingsworth says:

    This speaks mounds to me today, thank you.

  25. A door slammed shut in shut in my marriage in past year. Never ever thought the “d” word would be a part of my experience but just finalized last week (heck, we even coordinated marriage retreats and facilitated classes together in the past!). It was not my choice, and I feel and pray for those going through it–especially with kids. I will go write the Revelation passage now as a breath prayer for my pocket. Peace and power of the Spirit!

  26. Thank you so much for this devotional, Leah! I was thinking last night how it should not be this hard. I learned a few weeks ago that we will be moving. In the place we are at, there were some doors I was wanting God to open, and it appears that He never intended me to walk through them at all. As much as I want to trust in His sovereignty, it just feels very discouraging and hard at the moment. I loved how you explained that God closes certain doors to protect us — and what He plans to open instead will ultimately be better. It doesn’t feel that way for me at the moment, but I am going to cling into that hopeful thought and go forward with this move anticipating some amazing open doors on the other side of this.

  27. kathy wyg says:

    Good Morning…to all..i will be saying prayers for you ladies..esp…P..& Deb….&…it is
    nice to have you back on our comment page…Nico…we have missed you…both you
    & Shirlee…keep us focused….i wish you & your husband success in your new…
    adventure down the road…….do..keep us informed of what is going on….thanks…

    have a great & blessed day………..kathy wyg

  28. Thank you….as if your are in my head. Waiting and waiting for Gods timing in my life of what next. Encouraging word.

  29. All I can say is, thank you!

  30. What if you left a job you loved with great perks to start a job you thought God was calling you to but now seem to wonder if you made a mistake? I miss the old job. The two jobs are so different. If this is where God called me, why do I feel a sense of unhappiness?

  31. You spoke words of life over my heart. Actually sitting at the service department of the auto dealership trying to breathe through this feeling and hold back the tears.
    I am a writer, blogger, “wannabe” speaker.
    So many passions stir in my soul.
    Ideas and thoughts race so fast through my mind, but when I go to write them, I get stuck. And begin to believe the doubt.
    I spin and twirl, but no one notices.
    I long to show off my God.
    He will open a door that no one can close.
    I will hold on for that promise to be fulfilled!

  32. P- your comments and yearning for a child touched me. These are the reflections that God laid on my heart. The prayer of SAMUELS mother for a child, she dedicated him to the lord and he became a great prophet. But she spent day and night in the tabernacle praying for the child she desired and the lord heard her prayer.
    Also this, the lord can raise sons and daughters of Israel from rock and stone, how much more can he do for those who trust in Him. Finally, what a witness you are to life! Here you are desiring a child with all your heart whereas others consider a child a burden or something to dispose of!! Your life, heart and desires are a great witness to others! Hang in there for there is a time for all things under the sun and a season for hope and life too!!! Gods abundant blessings to you and your baby, I hope you feel the sweet flutter of his kick soon, in Jesus name! Amen

  33. I so needed this today, this week, this month…. thank you!

  34. This is sooo perfect for what we are going through right now. I now wake and everyday abc thank the Lord for the new job he is going to give my husband. Thank him for the ministry he will provide. Through it all I have learned to depend on God and not man.

  35. Lynn McNamara says:

    Thank you so much for this devotional site, I have only been enjoying it for a couple of weeks, but I have to say that I wake up every morning and the first thing I do is read the devotional and all the replies…..my heart goes out to those who are having trouble carrying babies, I know the heartache all too well. I am 55 now but when I was young enough to have babies I went through several miscarriages, all I wanted to be was a good wife to my then husband and a mother to his children,but it became clear to me that was not part of the plan, God was protecting me even though I wasn’t aware of it. That husband had an affair and got another woman pregnant. I can only imagine what my life would have been had we had children together, more heartache than God ever intends for us,He only wants good things for us it has taken a very long time for me to come to peace with that, I don’t know why it was not part of His plan for me, but I do believe and know that He knows me better than I do. He loves me more than I love me. And He had a plan for me before I was even conceived, Thank you,Father God for all the closed doors in my life, while I don’t know yet what Your plan is for me,I trust You and let You into every aspect of my life. Help me, to not only recognize the closed doors but to see the opened ones as well. In Jesus most holy name I pray,Amen.Praise and glory be Yours,forever.

  36. God sends you what you need when you need it. I needed this today! I needed to know that GOD is in control and he will continue to protect me and my family.

  37. Kay Gibson says:

    Thank you for this wonderful message. I am waiting for God to show me my calling. I have NO IDEA what He wants me to do. I just retired and am trying to put God first in everything. All year I have just heard, “Be still and know that I am God.” I think He is working on me to have patience. You think? ha

  38. Adrienne H says:

    The timeliness of these devotions in my life is amazing. As soon as I get on my computer to read, I am blown away that whatever I’m going through seems to be what the subject is for the day. (especially this week) I know God is using this ministry to communicate to not just me but to women all around the world. We all struggle and need our daily reminder that God is for us–always.

  39. Katrina says:

    Thank you for sharing today. I have been anxiously awaiting today since February. I get notice of whether I get into the academic program I want to go to in the fall. I’ve forced my way down several paths in the past two years and God’s grace has closed many doors. Doors that seemed noble and at the center of my heart and God’s, yet for some reason, its not His timing. Without complete understanding but a hopeful, expectant heart, I’m pressing on until the door opens that He allows me to walk through. I am thankful for your reminder today that no matter what letter awaits me at home today, I can say Thank You Lord, for Your great grace and provisions.

  40. Kathleen says:

    Salve on a soul that has tried for a long time to find God’s favor. The no’s of God are protection. Love that.

  41. maria esquivel says:

    I really enjoy the Proverb 31 Ministry it has help me greatly I share the devotions with my husband, children, family, and sisters from my church because even though its design for women each devotions has something for every one. I print the devotion and began creating binder for myself to store all the great messages and encouraging word. I also text to my family bible verse every morning as and encouragement for their day. In reading the blog and learning that you all have a Real Life Devotional Bible for Women put together by your writes that just brought joy and ideas on if I would win the give how it would be great source to official start my prayer group with family. I am in the years of raising teenagers and your has help be tremendously , thank you so much God bless.

  42. Nancy Manning says:

    Thank you for today’s devotional on open & closed doors. Due to finances, my job as church administrator ended in January. Always needing to work, the Lord used my husband’s job loss to pay off our home. Carl is 62 and has a new job…but his salary is a 3rd of what he use to earn. Two weeks ago I began a new opportunity as a house parent for a woman’s crisis center. I have always had a heart for serving in this capacity, but I am struggling due to a sudden loss of strength. I am only 59 years old and I want to continue working. Please agree with me in prayer that the doctors can determine the root of this issue and I can fulfill the plans the Lord has for me.

  43. Nancy Manning says:

    Thank you for today’s devotional on open & closed doors. Due to finance is, my job as church administrator ended in January. Always needing to work, the Lord used my husband’s job loss to pay off our home. Carl is 62 and has a new job…but his salary is a 3rd of what he use to earn. Two weeks ago I began a new opportunity as a house parent for a woman’s crisis center. I have always had a heart for serving in this capacity, but I am struggling due to a sudden loss of strength. I am only 59 years old and I want to continue working. Please agree with me in prayer that the doctors can determine the root of this issue and I can fulfill the plans the Lord has for me.

  44. This is so me! I have this conversation at least weekly in my head/prayers. I know that verse about closing and opening doors. I tend to think that a closed door is God’s protection, but it’s his protection from me being embarrassed because He knows I’m not qualified or good enough for what I want to do. Maybe I’m trying to do this(speak/write) for my own satisfaction and glory. But I don’t know how to get the desire out of me. It’s been there for as long as I can remember…since at least 3rd grade when I used to get up during show and tell to do one-girl skits! I just wish He’d take the desire away if it’s not what I’m supposed to do.

  45. Susan O'Connell says:

    Thank you so much for this today.

  46. Thank you, Leah. This spoke straight to my heart this morning…I too have experienced more disappointing roadblocks and detours than I would’ve hoped in fulfilling my calling, but I know God has faithfully redirected me, and will be faithful to accomplish the purposes he has for me…

  47. God knows what need, for sure, and has been using these devotionals to show me it’s ok to let Him have the burdens on my heart. It’s pretty incredible to be loved by an able God who is willing to take our brokenness, and turn it into testimony. My husband, and I received full custody of his now 2 1/2 year old daughter this past summer. We had only been married a few months, and I was trying to move forward in my career. Thankfully, and I do mean it, God chose to keep me where I am because He knew my life was about to change in a big way. I got to spend time with my sweet girl, and totally fell in love with her without having the pressure a new job on my mind, too. She has adjusted to our new life together, and I know God was protecting my little family by say, “no” to letting me walk through a new door, just yet. God’s timing is always perfect, so whether or not my door is open, I’m going to do my best to trust Him.

    God bless

  48. Kaye H. says:

    Thank you for this word and thank you to all those commenting about it. I have experienced many closed doors in my journey. My heart goes out to P. as my daughter lost her first child (my first grandchild) at 39 weeks. It was one of the hardest times of my life. 3 years ago my husband of 25 years passed away after a lengthy illness. God blessed me with a new husband but I hid many financial details from him. So now I am faced with the possibility that I have broken his trust one too many times and he doesn’t want to be married to me anymore. I am praying for restoration, but I have to admit that I feel like I’m only getting what I deserve for my deceptions.

  49. Christal says:

    This was right on time and touched my heart and spirit in such a special way. Thank you.

  50. Helen R. says:

    Thank-you Leah for this timely reminder of God’s sovereignty and his loving protection for us. It is difficult when we desperately want to walk in the centre of God’s will but wonder whether the plans we have are in line with God’s purpose for us. It is refreshing and encouraging to know that the challenges and obstacles often represent closed doors not only for our protection, but because God does indeed have something/some-one so much greater and more wonderful than we could ever imagine …… and it will come about not through our striving but God’s timing. I have seen this manifest in my life time after time.

    To P.
    I have felt your pain and had to wait longer than most for my child. I pray that God will heal your heart, AND HE WILL !! He will give you the desires of your heart. Keep trusting and believing in Him. He gave me the most beautiful precious gift of my son when I was 47 years of age. There are times I wish I was 27 or 37 …… but God knows the best timing. You are probably no where near that age, I just want to encourage you that His plans for us ALWAYS exceed what we think is the best for us. God bless. xoxox

    • Thank you for this, Helen. It’s been five years since my last miscarriage and my husband and I are just now spiritually healed enough that we’re beginning to take steps toward trying again — at the age of 42. Needless to say, I struggle a lot with worrying that we’ve waited too long and that now it’s too late. I know that if God did it for Sarah and Elizabeth he can also do it for me, but reading your story is an inspiration and fills me with hope. Blessings to you.

  51. Today’s devotional by Leah Dipascal really resonated with me. I have to keep reminding myself that God’s ways are higher than mine and if I could see from His perspective, I would so much more quickly agree with His plan! There is a saying that I saw on FB: “As I look back on my life, I realize that every time I thought I was being REJECTED from something good, I was actually being RE-DIRECTED to something better.” Retrospect is so much easier to evaluate. But as I face the challenges of today, looking back at God’s faithfulness in my life through other storms and challenges, I’m relieved of the pressure. I want to continually take His yoke upon me for His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I want to be able to look back and say as I have in the past “This is the Lord’s doing and it is marvelous in our eyes.” Don’t you just love it when God DOES it! … When it would be humanly impossible for us to take the credit? “It IS marvelous in our eyes. Thank you for today’s encouragement!

  52. I see so much of myself in this. Thank you, Leah. Like you, I’ve always been a go-getter and have a bad habit of running out in front of God just expecting him to catch up with me. But for quite a while now he’s had me stuck in a holding pattern as he’s teaching me to be still and wait on Him to move, and to find out what He wants me to do before I act. Just last week He brought me to the realization that my over-achieving tendencies are due to trying to prove wrong all the people who accused me of being an under-achiever while I was growing up (I had undiagnosed ADD; the truth is that I wasn’t an under-achiever, but I wanted to do SO MUCH and my brain just couldn’t process it all). He showed me that I don’t have to prove myself to anybody, least of all to Him — I can never prove my worth to Him, because my worth comes FROM Him. It’s been such a huge weight lifted from my soul, and I believe this devotional is confirmation that all I’m being called to do right now is to relax, stop striving and wait upon the Lord. Thank you.

  53. Leah, thank you so much! Your words today have truly blessed my heart! 🙂

  54. Leah, how does does that song go…”Say something that can save my life?” Well you did. After months and years of temp work assignments as a paralegal, I cannot find a permanent placement. I live in a small rural town, in virtual poverty with a disabled spouse and an 8 year old son. The interview of my dreams happened a few weeks ago in the DA’s office. The DA loved my passion and enthusiasm for the Justice system. I found out soon after, “No. Not this time.” The same words repeated again. “You may be good but you are not good enough.”Devastated, I question my purpose. Have I got it all wrong? Can’t I just disappear? I need to hear that there are really “good women” out there who have experienced this. I need more..

    • Melissa says:

      A few years ago, I found myself seeking a permanent teaching position after being a long-term sub for two years and receiving much praise from those who worked with me. Confident, I interviewed for many permanent positions, but was turned down time and time again. I was able to take a position as an assistant, with the same insurance and sick time as teachers get. The pay is less, and I am not doing exactly what I want to do, but when the day is over I am able to leave and go home to my family, while my colleagues are still working for hours….
      Still hoping to get a teaching position some day, but for now I am content where God has me.
      So yes, there are more of us out there that have experienced job/career related disappointments. Satan loves to tell us we aren’t good enough. Don’t give up – stick with God, and He will take care of you and give you good gifts when His time is right for you!

  55. God is good and His timing is always is always spot on! He gives us what we need when we need it. This morning my husband and I went to breakfast. We stopped at a little diner that we have passed often and the parking lot is always full. We went inside and after we had ordered, my husband prayed as we always do before we eat. We enjoyed our meal and went out the door. As we closed the door to the car, two men approached the car and said, excuse me sir, we really feel led by the Holy Spirit to pray for you, would that be okay? My husband talked to them a minute and shared that we were believers and welcomed the prayer. One of the men said he knew we were believers and he sensed the Holy Spirit. His prayer was powerful and sweet….but can you guess what he prayed? He asked that the Father would open doors that needed to be opened and close doors that needed to be closed in our life! I was already pumped from God’s Devine appointment, then I opened this morning’s devotional! Did I already say, God is good?

  56. How do you know when a door is closed because of God or something you did? My entire life I’ve always loved art. I do all kinds and always wanted to make a living from it but it’s never happened. I’m 50 years old and feel like it’s too late to do anything. I get odd jobs here and there but have never actively put myself out there and fear of failure. I need to work so my time is taken up with a job that’s not my heart a desire. How will I ever know what God wants me to do? I’m so discouraged.

    • Heidi, I feel you. My only real ambition in life, apart from being a mother someday, has always been to make my living as a novelist. I’ve written books and put them out there and while they’ve gotten good reviews they’re just not selling well, and I’m nowhere near being able to quit my freelancing work to write full time. Even finding the time to write part time is a struggle when I need to focus on the work that actually pays the bills. It’s so easy to get frustrated and discouraged, wondering when God is going to give me either of my heart’s desires. But lately it’s like He’s had me stuck on pause while He’s working in me to get me to lay down my ambitions and make HIM my heart’s desire. And I’m finding that the more I pursue Him, the more I have peace about the possibility that it’s not in His plan for me to be a full-time novelist OR a mom–and the more I’m able to trust that if that’s not my true calling, whatever God does have in store for me will be MORE fulfilling, beyond all I could ask or imagine. And if those things are part of his plan for me and those desires ARE from Him, He’ll cause everything to fall into place at the appointed time, and I need to use this time of waiting to focus on growing and preparing myself to handle what’s to come.

      I wrote this in my journal the other day, and I hope it speaks to where you’re at right now:

      God is at work. He’s working on me and in me to prepare me so that He can work THROUGH me. I’m not yet ready for the things He has planned for me, but as I wait upon His timing I will let patience have its perfect work, teaching me perseverance and instilling in me proven character and producing hope that doesn’t fail. Hope in Jesus, in my inheritance, in Eternity, in all of God’s promises. Hope in the knowledge that the Creator of the Universe loves me and has adopted me and cares for me as His own precious child, and He will never let me be hurled headlong as long as I walk with Him, holding my Father’s hand as He leads me down the path that He has prepared for me.

      Heidi, I can tell you it’s never too late. You remind me of my very talented and artistic aunt, who all her life wanted to use her talents to minister and to earn a living. She turns 80 this year and just in these last few years God has opened doors for her to use her artistic and musical talents in the way she’s always dreamed of doing. I pray that God will help you be patient and trust in His timing and that He will also provide you with the time and opportunities for your artistic pursuits as well as the courage to put your work out there.

  57. I desperately needed to hear this devotional today. A few weeks ago my fiancé and I decided to go our separate ways. A week late I found out some very ugly truths about him. The devastation and betrayal are surreal. But this devotion and scriptures reminded me that God must have shielded me from something far greater and more painful had we moved forward with our marriage. So in my darkest moments when I feel as if God had forgotten me and the desires of my heart, I’ll go back to this devotation and mediate on these great words. My soul truly needed this.

  58. Thank you SOOO much for this
    Just an hour ago I officially found out my husband of 21 years has a girlfriend and wants to make a life with her
    This devotional was EXACTLY what I needed. Things have been rough for awhile and God has been trying to reveal things to me. But I thought if I just did more then things would be ok. Finally tonight God showed up big time and slammed the door closed and opened my eyes. I cannot change him and I must put my eyes on God and not on trying to make my husband find God

    This has helped put my heart at ease and I have finally stopped crying
    God has got this. And it’s ok to let go and get divorced

  59. Must say WOW…so touching and amazing just exactly how I feel… Taking upon everything feeling the whole world is about to collapse without me knowing…ppl tend to take that away from me – believe and hope from thee one and only almighty I have never lost hope but yet in some days and moments I feel he has … thank you for this I’ll never give up because I know I am never forgotten by him

  60. God Bless you, Leah DiPascal!

  61. Praise be to GOD for using Faithful transparent, beautifully authentic leadership like yourself Leah DiPascal!!!

  62. Your words spoke to my heart…and have encouraged me onward. It takes eyes of faith to bless the Lord when He takes away and when heartache comes. May we strive to be like Job when he said; “The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD.”

  63. Thank you for this blog. I needed to hear this. I struggle all the time wondering if God is calling me in a particular direction. Great reminder to know God opens doors for the path he wants for us and nothing can get in the way with that plan. Thank you for your transparency

  64. Thank you Leah, for your message. I needed to hear your words and see God’s Words too. God bless you.

  65. when is enough enough? I read the devotionals but at this point I’m tired of praying for unanswered prayers for years. I’m hurting and God does not seem to care. I’ve been through so much but I don’t know if after the past 4 years if I can keep believing.

  66. SAP- I know I don’t know you or your story, but please have faith that God hears your cries and prayers. He just works on His time. Hopefully this devotion can be a light of hope for you! Praying for you!

  67. Thank you for this devotion. It served as a wake up call and a reminder. I will continue to apply this way of thinking for my past, current, and future opportunities. There is nothing like the protection of God on your life. Thanks once again for the devotion.

  68. Thank you for sharing … this devotion echos the very sentiments of my heart…. but you brought such like & hope to what seemed a dismal situation.. Praise God!!!

  69. Thank you for this timely devotion. Amazing how God works!! I just learned I did not receive a job in the ministry field that I had applied for. I had circled Rev. 3:7-8 in prayer and physically. I accept God’s will, but part of me was not understanding why I always get overlooked for the call on my life. Anyway, The day I received your devotion I was feeling that perhaps the better things are just not meant for me and maybe I should just give up. But not now!! Thank you for communicating a divine message from the Holy Spirit and please know it has touched my life and heart deeply. SUPERNATURAL!

  70. I can relate to this all too well, Leah! Such well-woven truths. Thank you for sharing this!

  71. Colleen says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful insight! I have been waiting on a possible job offer since Thursday. All 4 interviews went well and I completely felt like I could work easily with each of the interviewers. I felt this was it – the job I worked 2 years to get.
    Reading your devotion I have come to realize that the door is more than likely closed, however, what a gift the Lord gave me. I had found a corporation where I truly felt was being led purposefully and with integrity. Amen. I had also found a group of people I could have community with and work with. How blessed is that! I can rest in the fact that God is going to provide me with EXACTLY what is part of his plan and that is what matters most.

  72. Tiffany says:

    I have needed to hear this for so long. This past season has been a difficult one of God saying a lot more “no’s” then “yes’s”. I have let my heart grow cold and to desire other things than Jesus, please pray for me those who read this! My boyfriend and I held off our engagement because we felt the Lord asking us to build a relationship with his family. Its been blessed but it’s so hard! His ways are higher then our ways and his thoughts are higher then ours. With every no and every yes it is through His ever flowing love for us.

  73. Thank you so much for these encouraging words! I needed them and will hold on to them. I have known God knows best and uses all for my good, but typically I ended up wondering if He loves me less than others because of his lack of response to my heartfelt prayers, specifically those for another child. I realize it’s a matter of trusting God with my all. Trust is a difficult thing for me. But hearing your words….that this could actually be His sovereign protection over me…well that changes everything. It doesn’t take away the ache, but re-affirms His love. Thank you!

    • Sonnie Jane says:

      Praying for you for I know God is able to do what concerns you today!! I have a 7 month old this was answered after years in prayer not knowing if it was even possible to have a child since I had gone through intensive chemo for a long period. BUT God.

  74. Sonnie Jane says:

    Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (ESV) Amen!! very encouraging message and teaching may we trust God always He knows what’s best for us

  75. Roxann R says:

    There was a time when I was younger that an opportunity was offered for me to pursue a musical career. It didn’t work out because I believe it was God’s sovereignty that protected me, as I was not spiritually or emotionally ready to handle such a responsibility. God loves me enough to protect me even from myself. I don’t want to do anything that would ultimately cost me my walk with the Lord.

  76. Thank you. This message is valuable to daily living,

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